New, smaller Walmart opens on Chicago's South Side

July 27, 2011

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(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
The new Urban Walmart Express in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood.

A Wal-Mart unlike any other in the country opened Wednesday on Chicago's South Side.

Wal-Mart Inc. officials in Chicago have a lot to celebrate. After years of controversy over employee wages and negotiating with the city and labor unions, they opened a new store today on the city's South Side. What makes the new store so special: it's a shrunken-down version of a Wal-Mart Super Store; the first of its kind. Think of it as a convenience store.

Wal-Mart spokesman Steve Restivo called it a test store, with others coming to Arkansas and North Carolina.

"Our goal this year is to open five in each market, solicit customer feedback, obviously monitor sales and performance and if all goes well, we'll have a new number to announce in the next fiscal year," he said.

Restivo said nine other Wal-Mart projects are currently in the pipeline around Chicago.

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