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Walmart Puts Twist on Its C-store Format

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has rolled out its latest Walmart Pickup with Fuel concept, putting a twist on the traditional convenience store format.

Tiny by the big-box retailer's standards, Walmart Pickup with Fuel boasts 4,000 square feet and offers gas pumps and traditional c-store fare at Walmart prices, with the addition of a dedicated drive-thru for pickup grocery orders placed through Walmart's online grocery service, The Denver Post reported.

"We’re just looking for better ways to serve our customers," said Gina Kretoski, Walmart e-commerce market coach. "The way customers shop is changing and our time is such a valuable commodity."

The Thornton, Colo. store, which celebrated its grand opening on Nov. 30, is the second Walmart Pickup with Fuel nationwide. The first opened this spring in Huntsville, Ala.

Inside, the store looks like a traditional c-store, from hot dogs on roller grills to fresh doughnut cases and a wall of drink of options. A small selection of grocery items are available geared toward last-minute needs, Kretoski noted. Signs advertise, "Same low price. Smaller store." It is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Walmart Pickup with Fuel, though, is the only location that also has a gas station on site, Kretoski added.

Online grocery pickup is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with same-day service for orders placed by 1 p.m. Orders are fulfilled at local Walmart Supercenters and delivered to Walmart Pickup with Fuel via refrigerated truck.

Kretoski noted that customers can also have other items delivered there for pickup, including treadmills.

As CSNews Online previously reported, the big-box retailer has chosen the Denver area to test new efforts, including the expansion of Walmart Pickup Grocery program at 20 metro Denver Supermarkets and Neighborhood Markets.

"This market offers great insight for what our customers want," Kretoski said. "If we offer more than one service in one location, we feel like we're taking better care of our customers and the way they live their lives. Customers are looking for that convenience factor."

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