(Nov. 7, 12:25 p.m.) Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is doing more to lure Hispanic shoppers.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer plans to open its first Más Club, a club store catering to that ethnic group, in Houston during the first half of 2009.

A Wal-Mart spokesperson could not be reached for comment. However, the retailer said in an Oct. 28 news release that the new club store will offer an expanded range of products imported from Mexico, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, beverages, spices and candy.

“Más Club will cater to the wants and needs of Hispanic families and entrepreneurs,” Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, said in the release. “We are excited about this club and the new range of products and services we can offer in Houston. Our objective is to create an additional shopping choice that provides currently unavailable value for families, restaurant owners, convenience stores and more.”

The club will have 143,000 square feet.

The retailer said in the news release that Sam’s Club members interested in Más Club will have to purchase a separate membership to shop at the new club.

Membership fees for the new store have not been announced, and Wal-Mart has not announced other markets for the new concept.

The Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia said in a report last year that the buying power of Hispanics exceeded $860 billion, up from $212 billion in 1990. That figure is expected to reach more than $1.2 trillion by 2012.

The 2000 U.S. Census reported one of eight people living in the U.S. was of Hispanic origin. By 2012 the ratio is projected to approach one in six.

“There’s an untapped market for sure,” said Ed Weller, retail analyst with ThinkEquity LLC, San Francisco. “I don’t know if the right way to tap it is a club store or a targeted super center, but there are a lot of Hispanic customers that eat a lot of Hispanic food that you’re not going to find at a mainstream store.”