Two Wal-Mart markets planned for west Wichita

06/11/2010 12:00 AM

06/11/2010 7:15 AM

Wal-Mart has settled on two locations in west Wichita for its Neighborhood Market and is planning to have the full-grocery, limited-retail stores open for business in 2012.

A spokesman for the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said Thursday that the first Wichita stores will be near Central and Maize Road and Central and West Street.

The stores will each be 30,000 square feet and employ between 125 and 150 people, said Ryan Horn, senior manager of public affairs for Wal-Mart.

"A lot of those (employees) would be new hires so we'd be adding new jobs to the community," Horn said.

The store at Central and Maize will be new construction, he said, while the store at Central and West will be a "major remodel" of an existing space that's part of a retail strip center.

He said the company decided on two locations on the west side because the sites were available and "our business model has been embraced there."

But it will continue to look at other parts of the city for additional Neighborhood Market stores.

"We're always looking for new opportunities in the city," Horn said.

The company has 181 Neighborhood Markets in the U.S. and three in Kansas: two in Overland Park and one in Shawnee.

The Neighborhood Markets offer approximately 29,000 items, primarily groceries, whereas Supercenters offer about 142,000 items.

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