A new Wal-Mart High-Efficiency Supercenter in Highland Village, Texas reflects the growing trend of health and climate-conscious consumers. The world’s largest retailer considers organic food, bicycling and a green approach to retailing its top priority.
Wal-Mart has designed a full-service bicycle shop within its 203,091 square feet of retail space. Professional bicycle mechanics are something new for Wal-Mart, who historically hire contractors to assemble bikes for the chain, with little or no experience. In early 2006, Wal-Mart, with annual sales of US$348 billion, announced a grand plan to open 100 bike boutiques within its stores by late 2007.
An extensive community bike trail system connects to the shopping center. An outdoor gazebo next to Wal-Mart offers cyclists a rest stop, water and air hose.
According to walmart.com, the new bicycle department will offer customers an extensive range of high quality bikes, including Schwinn and Mongoose. The brands are sold alongside Roadmaster, another Pacific Cycle brand.
“Our wide variety of bikes will include something for everyone, from a child getting his or her first bicycle to the serious cyclist looking to upgrade,” said Highland Village store manager Brad Cullum. “We’ll have youth bikes, road bikes, cruiser bikes, adult trikes, tandem bikes, electric bikes and an expanded assortment of comfort and hybrid bikes.
“We’re especially delighted to feature Schwinn Women’s Inspired bikes, which are ergonomically designed for the female rider, and the new style of Electric Bikes from Currie,” he added.
According to walmart.com, the Highland Village store is the third High-Efficiency Wal-Mart Supercenter to open in 2007. The stores are located in a variety of climate zones to evaluate how the systems perform and expected to use 20 percent less energy than a typical Supercenter. The stores feature industry-leading advancements such as integrated heating, cooling and refrigeration systems, and lighting innovations to conserve energy.
© BikeRadar 2007