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Size Doesn't Seem to Matter for Wal-Mart

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- In a move that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. here is calling the first of its kind, the retailer said it plans to build two stores side by side in a southern Maryland neighborhood where local restrictions limit the size of big-box stores.

Last summer Calvert County officials passed regulations that limited the size of big-box stores in quaint town centers. Wal-Mart has come back with plans to build a 74,998-square-foot store beside a 22,689-square-foot garden center in Dunkirk, Md. The two Wal-Marts will each have their own entrance, utilities, bathrooms, and cash registers. The combined area would actually be 30 percent larger than the 75,000-square-foot limit for a single store in Dunkirk.

Mia Masten, the community affairs manager for Wal-Mart's eastern region, said in press reports it's the first time Wal-Mart will build two adjacent stores in response to size restrictions. She said it's a strategy the company is likely to consider in other areas.

Dunkirk residents who object to the new initiative are urging county planners not to allow Wal-Mart to skirt the rules.
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