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Hypermart USA was a demonstrator project operated by Wal-Martmarker in the 1980s, which attempted to combine groceries and general merchandise under one roof at a substantial discount. The hypermart concept was modeled after French retailer Carrefour which had been operating big box stores in Francemarker and Brazilmarker. The Texasmarker stores were operated in partnerships with Cullum Companies, former owner of Tom Thumb supermarkets.

All stores used a floorplan that exceeded 220,000 sq. ft. (20,000 m²). They featured a mini-mall, food court, arcade, bank, and other kiosk operations.

History

Downfall

The prototype did not go as well as planned. Wal-Mart was unaccustomed to operating such massive stores, and an economic recession had brought on a decline in retail sales. Although the stores were profitable, sales projections were too optimistic and the company did not anticipate the massive heating and cooling costs, the resistance of customers towards parking and congestion issues, and the formidable shopping experience in stores "too big to find anything."

The first Wal-Mart Supercenter, which used a floorplan in the range, was opened in 1988 in Washington, Missourimarker. As the Supercenter proved to be a much more profitable experiment, Wal-Mart renamed the stores "Wal-Mart's Hypermart USA" in April 1990, and eventually began either converting them to Supercenter operations or closing them.

Discontinuation

A Hypermart USA truck sits in a Wal-Mart parking lot in 2005, long after the concept was discontinued.
The Hypermart USA concept officially discontinued in 1990, when Wal-Mart announced it was converting Kansas City's Hypermart USA in Benjamin Plaza near Bannister Mall into a Wal-Mart Supercenter. At the time, Wal-Mart said it would cost almost $5 million to renovate the . store. This store closed mid-January 2007 with the opening of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter on the site of the former Blue Ridge Mall now Blue Ridge Crossingmarker as the first Wal-Mart "high-efficiency" store which opened January 19, 2007. An inefficient floorplan and the facility's large size were cited as some of the reasons for the relocation.The original Hypermart in Garland Texas closed in May 2008, and was replaced by Walmarts first "Hispanic Community" store a few blocks away.

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