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Report: Wal-Mart to Add Grocery in Twin Cities Next Year

MINNEAPOLIS - Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is planning to make its mark on the competitive Twin Cities supermarket business by adding a full-service grocery operation to one of its stores next year, according to published reports.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart will build onto one of its traditional discount stores in Maple Grove, Minn. next spring, a Maple Grove city planner told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The Maple Grove City Council recently approved Wal-Mart's application for a 66,000-square-foot addition.

The move would make the store the first 210,000-square-foot Wal-Mart supercenter in the Twin Cities. Currently the closest supercenters are in Buffalo and Cambridge.

This summer Wal-Mart won site approval for a supercenter in Woodbury, Minn., according to the report. At that time the company declined to say when it planned to open the grocery, and it pulled a building permit for only a 151,200-square-foot general merchandise store.

In the past, observers have speculated that Wal-Mart was avoiding the metro area because the grocery stores there are heavily unionized. Wal-Mart is nonunion.

Nonetheless, German grocer Aldi has revealed plans to open about 30 nonunion stores in the Twin Cites.

Other competitive low-price food retailers operating in the Twin Cities area include SuperTarget, Cub, and Rainbow.
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