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Walmart Goes Urban, Focusing on Specialty Foods

The Metro area is home to a Walmart test case, which is unveiling a smaller urban store that offers more international food items.

The Walmart opening Wednesday in downtown Washington, D.C., is a guinea pig for the country's largest retailer, which wants to assess how urban dwellers respond to a smaller store in which a third of the space is devoted to groceries, reports theWashington Business Journal.

The 73,000-square-foot store at 99 H St. NW is a small one for the company, whose stores typically start at 90,000 square feet, the Business Journal says.

"We're kind of the guinea pig, the test box, and they selected here to start it," store manager Eric Quist told the Journal. "But they're going to expand this up in other stores."

More than one-third of the store is devoted to groceries — including international offerings that aren't as common in the majority of Walmart stores. The H Street store is carrying more Goya products and kosher items, the Business Journal said.

The smaller store also includes apparel, sporting goods, craft and party items, a pharmacy, a check cashing and money order station and an online order pickup like other Walmarts, the site reports.

Walmart last year announced plans for six stores within Washington, D.C., a city that had no locations for the chain, reports governing.com. Walmart isn’t the only store that’s expanding into central cities. In recent years, Target, Best Buy and Home Depot, among others, have been turning their focus to urban markets.

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