Wal-Mart is preparing to open a small store near the ASU campus next month.
The ASU Wal-Mart on Campus, in Vista Del Sol's Paseo Exchange retail plaza, will be the second university test pilot store to open in the country. The first university concept store opened at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in January 2011.
Delia Garcia, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said in an email that the site of ASU’s Wal-Mart on Campus will provide a convenient location for on-campus students to purchase merchandise and services.
Garcia said customer demand is a factor when choosing store locations, including the ASU store.
“Each store location undergoes extensive review and consideration,” she said.
The store will offer basic grocery items, health and beauty products, a full-service pharmacy with a $4 generic prescription program, check cashing, bill pay services and site-to-store delivery service for items purchased on the Wal-Mart website.
Wal-Mart has 112 retail stores in Arizona, employing more than 31,000 associates. Its smallest store is the neighborhood market concept, which is 38,000 square feet and typically employs 95 people, according to the Wal-Mart website.
Once the ASU concept store opens its doors, it will replace the neighborhood market store concept as the smallest with a size of 5,093 square feet and 10 employees.
Global studies junior Samuel Cox said he prefers to shop at mom-and-pop stores over corporations such as Wal-Mart.
“Mom-and-pop shops are better to go to,” he said. “You can have a conversation with the owners, a few jokes and they will know who you are.”
Cox said Wal-Mart could have a negative effect on local businesses that have been around campus for a long time.
“ASU should be promoting community, not a corporation,” he said. “Students help the mom-and-pop shops.”
Japanese language studies senior Stephanie Nevitt said it would be nice to see more local businesses near campus rather than Wal-Mart, but she would still consider shopping there.
"If I needed something, it would be a five-minute walk," she said. "It would be really convenient."
Nevitt said she thinks it would make shopping easier for students.
"It would be a better deal than on-campus stores," she said.
Marketing freshman Alisa Hong said even though it would be a possibility that Wal-Mart may hinder local markets, she would still shop there.
"I think it would still be beneficial," she said. "If they don't raise prices, it would be really successful here."
Justice studies freshman Katie Taylor lives at the Hassayampa dorms across the street from the Vista Del Sol and the new Wal-Mart store.
Taylor said she does her grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and doesn't mind that it is a corporation.
"I think it is pretty cool," she said. "It will be convenient for out-of-state students or people that don't have cars."
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