Harps Food Stores opened a new location on Walton Boulevard in Bentonville Wednesday (March 20).
"We are really excited because we are getting to open our brand new store in Bentonville," said Kim Eskew, Harps president and COO. "It's a new format for us, a little bit more upscale than most of our stores and we have the most variety of any store that we have in Northwest Arkansas."
The new location is one of several Harps popping up across the state. In February Harps opened a new store in West Fork.
The new Bentonville Harps is looking to attract customers from Bella Vista and bring revenue into northern Bentonville.
"The only place that I've seen that comes close to this right here was in Denver," said George Goodwin, a customer shopping on opening day. "I have been catering for about 40 something years and this is off the hook. If they stay consistent with this here then I'll be back and I'm pretty sure all of the rest of the customers will be back as well."
The nearly 40,000 square foot store offers full service grocery and deli and has fuel pumps.
The aisles were packed with seemingly happy customers Wednesday morning.
"Well it was delightful," Marilyn Russell said as she shopped the produce section. "I came inside and first thing they started giving you samples of white grape juice, which I enjoy, and cake and then you just taste test your wholeway through the produce section with free coupons."
City officials are hoping the store will set the stage for future businesses to open up along North Walton Boulevard.
Walton Boulevard will already be expanding businesses on the southeast portion of the road. The Bentonville Planning Commission approved alcohol retailer Macadoodles to open a new location on Southeast Walton Boulevard Tuesday night.
While this Harps location may be new, its employees will not be. Harps is transferring 40 employees from its downtown location, which recently ended its lease at the Midtown Shopping Center.
The new Harps location opened at 10 a.m. Wednesday with a ribbon cutting.
Walmart announced on Feb. 25 plans for a new Neighborhood Market at the northwest corner of I Street and Highway 12.
For more information on the new Neighborhood Market, click here.