camp america

A former Kmart store in Northwest Fresno that totals nearly 200,000-square-feet may soon undergo work to replace an existing Walmart location. Photo by David Castellon

published on April 11, 2018 - 1:44 PM
Written by David Castellon

A new Walmart Supercenter will open in the fall in Fresno, while four Valley Walmarts will be part of a $145 million renovation project this year for stores in California.

The new store will be at the northwest corner of West Shaw and North Brawley Avenues, at the former Dan Gamel Camp America store.

Arkansas-based Walmart purchased the 223,378-square-foot building in 2012 with plans to convert it into one of its department stores while closing a smaller, 127,000-square-foot Walmart across the street, on the east side of Brawley.

But since that time, the Camp America building has stood empty, until last year, when Walmart received permits from the City of Fresno to begin renovating it.

Company officials declined to offer a specific date of when the new store may open.

As for the stores in Porterville, Madera, Hanford and Clovis, they and 30 other California Walmarts are scheduled to undergo renovations and upgrades, part of an $11 billon capital expenditure to improve and offer innovations throughout the Walmart chain.

In the California stores, the improvements could include the installation of “pickup towers” in which customers who make online purchases can go into the stores to pick them up by scanning codes from their smartphones into the machines and having their goods automatically dispensed to them. The company plans to premier that service in California later this month at the Chino Walmart.

That innovation will be included in the new Fresno store, as will the company’s Mobile Express Scan & Go service that allows customers to use an app to scan and pay for goods with their smart phones, without having to wait in line at cash registers. It wasn’t immediately clear if those innovations  will be part of the improvements to four other Valley Walmarts slated for renovation.

“Walmart recently reported strong company sales growth of 2.1 percent for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2018, indicating customers are responding well to the company’s business strategy. The plan is to continue improving stores and accelerating innovation during the coming year to make shopping faster and easier for customers in California,” states a press release issued today by Walmart.

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