New Grocery Stores to Meet Food Needs in Bentonville

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Growth in Bentonville is on the rise. With more people moving into the area, business owners are expanding to meet their shopping needs.

Walmart announced Monday (Feb. 25) plans for a new Neighborhood Market at the northwest corner of I Street and Highway 12.

People are looking forward to a 41,000 square feet Neighborhood Market. It will provide a grocery story for a part of town lacking food options, also known as a food desert.

"The residents of Southwest Bentonville are going to love having that short drive to buy groceries, so it's a win for all concerned," said Mayor Bob McCaslin.

It will add at 65 jobs in an area where about 7,000-10,000 people call home.

"It would probably fit a definition of a food desert for the number of households that are there with really a lack of alternatives to buy groceries," said Brian Hooper, Walmart Vice President of Real Estate.

"So we're excited about that fact and I think it's going to go really well based on the convenience it's going to provide," Hooper said.

On the other side of town, a 37,000 square feet Harp's Food Store will soon offer an additional choice in the northwest part of Bentonville. Harp's marketing director David Ganoung said it will also attract people from Bella Vista.

"So we can draw from that and that side of town there's some retail shops as far as the other side of town," Ganoung said. "This is a new area for us."

There's a Harp's store in downtown Bentonville that will close once the new one opens. The store's lease didn't get renewed at that location.

When the store at North Walton Boulevard opens on March 20, the workers from the downtown location will transfer and 40 jobs will be added.

"We're excited about this store, it's a new format," Ganoung said. "We're hoping that the town at Bentonville, it's going to a new upgraded store for them and hopefully it will a good addition to the neighborhood."