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Wal-Mart opens first Hispanic supermarket

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Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores launched its first Hispanic supermarket concept with the opening Wednesday of the Supermercado de Walmart in the Spring Branch area of Houston.

According to an article in Thursday’s Houston Chronicle, the nation’s first Supermercado will be followed by another Wal-Mart Hispanic concept -- a Mas Club warehouse outlet patterned after Sam’s Club and opening this summer in Phoenix.

Wal-Mart said it may open more such stores if the format proves successful. “It’s about being more relevant to the community you serve,” said Jose Antonio Fernandez, VP business development, Wal-Mart. “Especially in Houston, the demand for Hispanic products has been growing for us.”

Wal-Mart converted one of its former 39,000-sq.-ft. Neighborhood Market stores west of downtown Houston, eliminating the ethnic aisle and decreasing frozen foods while bumping up the bakery and adding a kitchen that serves tacos.

Fernandez told the Chronicle the company has learned how to serve Latinos from its experience in Latin America. Wal-Mart runs 2,346 stores in the region. Half are in Mexico.

© 2014