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Nation's smallest Walmart to open in Atlanta

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is gearing up to open their smallest store. 

Walmart has a pretty good handle on the megastore concept. And for the past few years it's been testing hundreds of much smaller market locations where big stores won't work.

Now it's getting ready to open the smallest Walmart in the country -- 2,500 square feet -- on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

“The 2,500 square foot space is the only space we have available,” says Rich Steele, head of Auxilliary Services at Georgia Tech.  “They were willing to fit their concept into the available retail space.”

The location is set to open this spring in a former ribs joint.  It’s not clear what items will stay and what will go as Walmart shoe-horns its big-box sensibilities into a convenience store.

“Customers associate Walmart with a broad assortment of products,” says Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo. “We want to make sure to deliver on that promise whether the store is 150,000 square feet or 2,500 square feet.”

The retail chain pitched the idea to Georgia Tech a year ago, after piloting the Walmart on-campus concept at the University of Arkansas.  The new Georgia Tech location will feature a pharmacy, check-cashing services and a small selection of groceries.

The move is part of Walmart’s efforts to penetrate retail niches outside the big box, and its renowned buying power could challenge other players in the pharmacy and convenience store sector.

“Walmart, as we all know, is a tremendously efficient retail machine,” says Don Longo, editor of the industry trade Convenience Store News. 

Still, Longo adds, independent small store operators don’t see Walmart’s foray into small market territory as a direct threat.  “They really have not come up with the formula yet that would be a real competitive danger to really good small store operators who know how to operate in a very small footprint,” he says.

But with such a cash-ready customer base, the college campus could be the right laboratory for Walmart’s small store experiment.

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"It's always funny how" the pseudo-pedant is compelled to illuminate the sins of others of which he, himself, is guilty. In this case, Someoneelse is annoyed by the grammatical annoyance of another.

Having no real life of his (or her) own, he lives in the insular and anonymous world of blogs, culling the content for tortured syntax, mangled grammar and misspellings. Hiding behind his clever nom de plume, our "editor-at-large" ceremoniously impales the error prone blogger upon his mighty pen. Talk about picking the fly excrement out of the pepper.

It's always funny how you Tech folk get offended by things not even said. Nowhere in the article is Tech referred to as a university. Believe me, those familiar with the place know it is definitely an institute - and many of its residents seem institutionalized. Wonderful English, too, by the way "this annoy me" - great grammar.

Sigh, I should have grabbed a screenshot when I had the chance. It was incorrect in the original transcript. I'm just glad they fixed it.

OK, this annoy me more than anything. The name of the school is Georgia Tech, short for Georgia Institute of Technology. The word "university" is no where in the school's name. Just like you don't call Cal Tech, Cal Tech University.

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