Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is in talks to open a Walmart Express convenience store in River North, according to real estate sources.
The world’s largest retailer is eyeing a location at 225 W. Chicago Ave. at the corner of Franklin Avenue, which formerly housed Pearl, the discount art supply store.
Wal-Mart unveiled its small store Express format earlier this year, and plans to begin rolling them out later this year. These mini stores, typically under 15,000 square feet, allow Wal-Mart to move into dense, urban markets.
The pending deal was first reported by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Wal-Mart officials declined to comment on the River North site.
“While it’s no secret that we are evaluating opportunities across the city to create jobs and improve access to affordable food, we don’t have any new sites to announce,” said Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based discount chain is pushing into northern cities in an effort to jump-start sales and turn around a record sales slump.
Wal-Mart has announced six stores in the city, including three supercenters, a 27,000-square-foot Walmart Market grocery store at Presidential Towers apartment complex in the West Loop and two other Express stores.
Another Walmart Market grocery store is under consideration in Lakeview.