Mini-Walmart Coming to Carthage
Walmart is coming to Carthage – not the big box, but a new junior version called Walmart Express. It’s the giant chain’s way of joining the feeding frenzy of value-focused buyers flooding to lower priced places like Fred’s, Dollar General or Family Dollar.
America’s emptier wallets have been pulling customers away from superstores, so Walmart is following them and their money with these new, pocket-sized outlets. The first one opened last July on Chicago’s South Side – an experiment at the time that led the Arkansas retailer to move to test the idea in its home state and in North Carolina as well as Illinois.
This is one of the first 15 to 20 Walmart Express stores. One opened in Richfield, N.C. – a tiny community just north of Albemarle – last year. It was, or soon will be, followed by others in Pikeville, Creedmoor, Lillington, Midway, Ayden, Yanceyville, Liberty, Snow Hill and now Carthage. The company is seeking applicants for a store supervisor and a general manager in Carthage – both full-time jobs.
Town Manager Carol Sparks told the town board about it at its April meeting Monday night.
“They were in Arkansas today signing the papers,” she said. “It’s a done deal.”
This will be a small store, a 14,500-square-foot place only a tenth the size of one of Walmart’s supercenters. It won’t be focused on big screen TVs but on basics like food and hairspray.
“85 percent of it will be grocery,” Sparks said. “There will be a small pharmacy. I talked to somebody today, and they said they will probably be finished with by September or October.”
It will be built across from McDonald’s on the same side of N.C. 24/27 (Monroe Street) as the Flying Tiger Chinese restaurant.
“They are talking with DOT about a drive-way,” Sparks said.
After determining that the site plan and landscape plan complied with town ordinances and the planning board recommended approval, Carthage granted Walmart a development permit April 5.
(See more in Friday’s edition of The Pilot)
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