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Walmart seeks to reimagine shopping areas near its stores

Walmart is working to partner with real estate developers to help create a better experience for the shoppers in their stores by creating town center areas in adjacent space near select Walmart stores. The concepts outlined for the Neighborhood Market in Rogers near Pinnacle Hills includes food and beverage, entertainment, and green space such as a small park or playground. (Photo courtesy Talk Business & Politics)

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Talk Business & Politics) - With more than 4,600 U.S. store locations, Walmart continues to seek opportunities to use its massive footprint in unique ways such as anchoring “town centers” to improve consumer experiences.

L.B. Johnson, vice president of realty operations at Walmart U.S., spoke recently to a group of real estate developers in Atlanta about the company’s concept to reimagine space around stores. The “town center” concept outlined by Walmart allows for development in parking lots, empty fields and other space adjacent to select Supercenters and Neighborhood Market locations, including the store at 5000 W. Pauline Whitaker Parkway in Rogers.

“We are very early in the conceptual planning process. We’ve identified locations where there is potential opportunity for a reimagined Walmart project, ut the process ultimately depends on identifying the right developer partners and communities that welcome the type of innovative development we envision,” Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia told Talk Business & Politics.

The shortlist of proposed stores on Walmart’s radar for the new “town center” concept include Rogers; Loveland, Colo.; Springfield, Mo.; Windsor Heights, Iowa.; Garland, Texas; Gresham, Ore.; Long Beach, Calif; and Lee’s Summit, Mo. Walmart said there are another 10 to 15 sites also being considered.

The website Walmart unveiled indicates early planning for the Rogers location would likely involve a two-phase development plan adding food and beverage sites which allow for outdoor dining and provide social gathering places. The proposed area is now green space that lies between West Pauline Whittaker Parkway and the Neighborhood Market parking area.

Read more on Walmart's vision here from KATV content partner Talk Business & Politics.

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