Nation's 2nd Supermercado de Walmart opens in West Phoenix

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PHOENIX -- It's the second of its kind in the country and it's opening right here in Phoenix -- Supermercado de Walmart.

New Hispanic supermarket

Country's second Supermercado de Walmart opens in Phoenix - It's the second of its kind in the country and it's opening right here in Phoenix -- Supermercado de Walmart.

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The new store at 91st Avenue and Thomas Road is an effort by Walmart to gain a part of the $90-billion-per-year Hispanic grocery market.

The other store opened in Houston on April 29. Together, the two stores will test the waters to see how a nationwide string of Hispanic supermarkets might do. According to Walmart, the Houston Supermercado de Walmart is already exceeding expectations.

Houston and Phoenix were picked for the new stores because of their large multigenerational Hispanic populations. Arizona's 2 million Hispanic consumers wield considerable spending power.

"We saw that the demand for Hispanic products, especially here in this area, was increasing," said Jose Antonio Fernandex, Walmart vice president. "What we're doing here is expanding some of the areas that we felt were relevant for these customers. We're keeing some of the national brands that are popular in Phoenix, as well. We have a combination between the national brands plus the Hispanic brands so we can have all the needs covered."

Walmart says it plans to apply what it has learned marketing to shoppers in Mexico and Latin America to boost sales to Hispanics here in the U.S. The company says Hispanics do make up a large portion of its customer base, but when it comes to groceries, they tend to stick to Hispanic-oriented markets like Food City, a Bashas' chain.

According to a study by Oklahoma State University, Hispanics spend more of their household income on food -- an average of $128.50 per week -- than non-Hispanics, who spend on average $91 each week.