BENTONVILLE, Ark. – The huge parking lots that surround most Walmart locations could be getting a face lift soon, as the discount retailer starts converting some of the space into “town centers,” Business Insider reports. The new configurations will include green space and a “carefully curated mix [of] local, regional and national” tenants, such as restaurants, health clinics, bowling alleys, food trucks, driving ranges and fuel stations.
“The Walmart Town Center concept is an exciting approach to how we serve our customers by moving beyond the store’s four walls and reimagining how we use our unique assets—our existing stores and the surrounding land—to transform how customers experience Walmart,” according to a Walmart spokesperson.
Town centers currently are being developed at some Walmart locations in Washington, Texas, Oregon, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado, California and Arkansas. “We envision a more robust and dynamic shopping experience that combines entertainment venues, curated local food vendors, health and fitness services as well as recreational opportunities in a way that connects and engages with the community,” said the Walmart spokesperson.
With new partners in town centers inside its own parking lots, Walmart “may redefine what it means to be a one-stop shop. Rather than simply offering a wide variety of goods and services within its stores, the big-box giant instead would be establishing itself as a retail hub with an orbit of complementary tenants,” Business Insider reports.