Wal-Mart Opens First Urban Chicago Store

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart is putting a new segmentation scheme to work at its first urban Chicago store, which opens today in Chicago's Austin neighborhood. The store is also the first Jobs and Opportunities Zone store to open that intends to work with local leaders and businesses to bring economic investment into a specific urban area.

In line with Wal-Mart's strategy to provide products relevant to the needs of its local customers surrounding each store, the chain said Chicago's Wal-Mart will feature a product mix specifically tailored to meet the needs of the Austin community. Emphasizing fashion and accessories for urban appeal, the store highlights two new designer clothing lines: "Metro 7," a hip brand for trendy women, and "Exsto," a line of urban-themed attire for young men, which Chicago Bulls point guard Ben Gordon will model at the opening celebration, said the chain.
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The 142,000-square-foot store also offers a selection of home products that trend to a more urban style, as well as convenience services of a pharmacy, vision center, one-hour photo lab, and Wal-Mart Connect Center for wireless phone sales, said Wal-Mart. A locally owned and operated restaurant, Uncle Remus, will also be located inside the store. Other departments include family apparel, health and beauty aids, household needs, electronics, toys, fabrics and crafts, lawn and garden supplies, jewelry, and shoes.

The store, which will be open to customers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, features 16 full-service, four express and two self-service check-out lanes.

Wal-Mart said the store already has received more than 15,000 applications from members of the Austin community and beyond to work for the store.
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