Carrie Rengers

Car dealership to occupy former Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market

The Wichita Eagle

UPDATED – Another former Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market has a new occupant.

Last month, Have You Heard? reported that American Freight is moving into the former Wal-Mart at 13th and Oliver.

Now, the new has plans to move into the former Wal-Mart behind the QuikTrip on the southeast corner of Harry and Webb.

“We’re itching to get open,” says Alex Kessler, general manager of the indoor-outdoor car dealership.

“What we want to do is to sell cars the way we want them to be sold to us,” he says.

That means “no pressure, no haggle-type buying,” Kessler says.

There will be late-model cars with low mileage. Kessler says they’ll be reconditioned and inspected, and the dealership then will sell them at low prices.

“We want to be able to sell a lot of cars to the public and get our name out there, and so we’re going to be offering some really fantastic deals.”

The goal is to replicate the model in other markets.

“This will become a model store so we can really get our processes down,” Kessler says.

He says he’s already thinking about expanding to Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Kansas City and Dallas.

Kessler grew up in the Wichita area and then worked most of his career as a general manager and area operations manager for America’s Car-Mart, a Bentonville, Ark., dealership. Kessler’s lots were in Tulsa and Enid, Okla., and Columbus, Ga.

Aisak Corp. recently bought the 36,000-square-foot east-side building where Wal-Mart had been, and is leasing from Aisak.

Scott Harper of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal with Doug and Michael Malone of J.P. Weigand & Sons. Larry Cook Construction is the contractor. will open in May.

Kessler says he plans to hire between five and 10 employees initially (e-mail but expects to have 15 to 25 people working there once the business is fully operational.

He says while there will be an outside lot, he thinks it will be especially beneficial to customers to have an indoor lot, particularly during the summer and winter.

“Because in Kansas, as you know, we have terrible weather.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers