A new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is set to open Jan. 21 at the northeast corner of Barker Cypress Road and Longenbaugh Drive. The new store is one of several neighborhood markets under construction in the Greater Houston area, which is a newer trend for the company.
"Much of our growth is in the market stores as an answer to the demands and needs of our customers," said Anne Hatfield, director of communications for Wal-Mart. "It's more about convenience. The focus of the store is fresh produce, groceries and those daily household essentials that you'll need."
Wal-Mart selected the Cypress area to construct a new store this year because of the residential growth in the area.
"It's the old adage—retail follows rooftops," Hatfield said. "We have a lot of new subdivisions in this area, and with that comes the demand for more services."
Construction began in mid-2014 on the new 41,000-square-foot store, which will carry fresh produce, groceries, health and beauty supplies and other household items. The new location will also have a gas station and pharmacy.
The company's market stores are typically smaller than the Wal-Mart superstores, which are about 200,000 square feet, catering to quick trips for essential household items.
"The neighborhood markets are a reflection of the community," store manager Kerry Williams said. "You have direct access to the store manager and all the other things that people like about Wal-Mart."
Williams met with a nearby homeowners association in November to answer any questions and concerns from residents close to the new store, ranging from late night deliveries to excessive traffic and noise. He also added the market stores are not a destination like the company's larger superstores.
"Customers you'll see in a market store are people you'll see in your neighborhood," Williams said. "Most people don't drive out of the neighborhood for groceries because of colder dairy items."
Additionally, Williams said his team has selected Cypress Assistance Ministries to present with a donation during the store's grand opening and as a partner for donations in the future.