Walmart Express planned for Rolesville

dbracken@newsobserver.comOctober 30, 2012 

Wal-Mart plans to open a Walmart Express in Rolesville as it continues to use North Carolina as its primary test market for its smaller store concept.

The retailer has a contract to purchase land at the corner of Rogers Road and Grand Rock Way, said developer Hal Perry, who is part of the group that owns the property. A preliminary sketch of the project submitted to Rolesville shows a 12,000-square-foot store and eight fueling docks.

A Wal-Mart spokesman said the company had nothing to announce related to Rolesville.

Thomas Lloyd, Rolesville’s planning director, said he expects the company to submit more detailed architectural drawings within the next week. The project will require Wal-Mart to get a special use permit and to have the land rezoned, he said.

The Walmart Express stores are typically less than one-tenth the size of the company’s massive SuperCenters, which can be 200,000 square feet or bigger. The stores sell about 15,000 items, compared with the more than 100,000 offered in a SuperCenter. Express stores offer many of the same products at the same prices as SuperCenters, including groceries.

A Walmart Express employs between 20 and 25 people.

Wal-Mart has been opening Express stores in what is widely viewed by analysts as an attempt by the Bentonville, Ark.-based company to capture market share from dollar stores such as Family Dollar and Dollar General and drugstores CVS and Walgreens.

Of the 10 Express stores to open so far, five are in North Carolina. Two more are scheduled to open Nov. 14 in Carthage and Liberty. Wal-Mart has also announced plans to build eight other Express stores in the state in Pikeville, Steadman, Red Springs, Four Oaks, Benson, Eastover, Kenly and Bailey.

The Rolesville store would be just down the block from a CVS. It is also near where a new 72-unit affordable housing project, Granite Falls Apartments, is slated to be built. That project is expected to begin construction in January and open in early 2014.

Granite Falls is part of a cluster of communities that Perry began developing in the northern Wake County town in the early part of the last decade. Wells Fargo recently foreclosed on roughly 90 acres in the development, which suffered as new home construction fell off dramatically following the housing bust.

Bracken: 919-829-4548

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