Wal-Mart said it would introduce a small-store format, called Wal-Mart Express, aimed at rural and urban areas without nearby grocery stores. The first prototype store, set to open this week, stands 15 feet to 20 feet tall and has 45 parking places — a big change from the typical Wal-Mart superstore with high ceilings and vast parking spots.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to debut its first two Walmart Express format stores on June 8, according to One of the two stores will be located in Gentry, Ark., while the other Walmart Express store is set to open in Prairie Grove, Ark. Additionally, a third Walmart Express is slated to open in Ridgefield, N.C., in mid-June. The Walmart Express stores are marked by a long, narrow concrete box, which features a powder-blue Walmart Express sign, and are less than one-tenth of the size of a supercenter. The stores, which have exposed pipes and yellow walls,

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