Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to pull the plug on its lone Más Club pilot store.
The 87,000-square-foot warehouse store — a test format opened in 2009 in Houston — was similar to a Sam’s Club store but carried more Hispanic-focused products, according to a Jan. 27 Houston Chronicle article. The store is scheduled to close Feb. 7.
Earlier in 2009, Wal-Mart opened another concept in Houston and Phoenix — Supermercado de Walmart — in an effort to reach more Hispanic customers. These were loosely patterned after its Neighborhood Market stores that have more of a grocery focus and a smaller footprint than traditional Wal-Mart discount stores.
With the Más Club experiment, Wal-Mart came to learn that it made more sense to incorporate more Hispanic products into traditional Sam’s Clubs than to have separate stores, according to the Chronicle article.
The closure coincides with parent company Wal-Mart’s plans to lay off about 2,300 Sam’s Club employees nationwide as competition from online retailers and Costco heats up.
Houston is home to Fiesta Mart Supermarkets, a retailer in Texas and Louisiana that focuses on Hispanic shoppers. In Houston, it has about a dozen supermarkets.
In addition, San Antonio-based H-E-B has three Hispanic-focused Mi Tienda grocery stores in the Houston area. The first one opened in 2006.