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First 3 Walmart Express Units Slated

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said Wednesday the first Walmart Express locations will open between May and early summer in three rural towns in northwest Arkansas.

The stores, each of approximately 15,000 square feet, will be located in Gentry, Prairie Grove and Gravette, with construction due to start on the Gentry unit next week and work on the other two scheduled to start later in the month, Steve Restivo, a chain spokesman, told SN.

He confirmed local reports that the stores will have about 12 aisles, with one side wall and part of the back wall allocated to produce, refrigerated foods and frozen foods, but he declined to comment on other layout features, including where the stores' pharmacies will be located.

Asked to say what differences there might be among the three locations, Restivo replied, "That's still being determined." He declined to say where or when the fourth Express store would open.

Wal-Mart has indicated it expects to open 40 Express stores this year, although supercenters will continue to be the company's primary expansion format. "Walmart Express can be part of the solution in urban and rural communities where residents don't have access to healthy, affordable food," Restivo said.

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