Wal-Mart opens experimental upscale store

Plano, Texas -- Wal-Mart has opened a new super-sized supercenter here this week featuring a store layout, merchandise selection, and a range of services that in the company’s words make it “unlike any other Wal-Mart store.”

The location is a laboratory for items and ideas as Wal-Mart pushes ahead in its quest to extract more dollars from the wallets of monied customers who shop the retailer for consumable but little else.

“If something doesn't work, we will change it and try something else,” said John Fleming, exec vp and chief marketing officer. “And when an innovation resonates with our customers, we will consider introducing it in other stores."

The store’s eight principal areas are home, apparel, health, beauty, food, do-it-yourself, electronics and baby, and all feature new signage and graphics to enhance store navigation. The apparel area contains its own cash registers, and customers can keep the hangers on most purchases.

The expanded grocery selection includes 2,000 premium items new to Wal-Mart as well as 1,200 wine offerings, 700 of them premium. Other additions include a fresh sushi bar and a Wi-Fi enabled coffee shop.

The store is located at 1700 Dallas Parkway.

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