Because Walmart doesn’t yet blanket enough of the US (and beyond), the retailer is now rolling out smaller versions of itself called Walmart Express stores. And they already seem quite profitable.

The locations are a fraction of the size of their bigger, often behemoth-sized counterparts, and Walmart’s US President and CEO Bill Simon describes them as “a bit of a hybrid between a food, pharmacy and convenience store.”

The company says the first 10 Walmart Express “tester” stores turned a profit in their first year. David Tovar, spokesman for Walmart, said, “Later [in 2012], we will be moving to phase two to test density in a specific market.”

Simon added the “next phase for us is about how big could this be,” saying that although the Express stores are already making money, “we want to get them up to what would be the fleet average, or hopefully beyond that.”

[ABC News]