Washington, D.C., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open or expand 484 stores across the United States during the next year, over 100 more than previously disclosed, according to an internal document obtained by a leading Wal-Mart opponent and released to The Associated Press on Monday. The document names the specific towns and the size of the expansion planned for the area.
Wal-Mart Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based group backed by unions and other interests, said it would use the detailed list to alert activists in the communities listed in the document to rally against projects in their towns. The group said it received the document from Sprawl Busters, a group opposed to unchecked suburban development. Wal-Mart confirmed ownership of the document.
“The report is simply a listing of all stores we expect to open over the next 12 to 14 months, and many are already under construction,” said Wal-Mart spokesman Marty Heiress. “Since the unions oppose us wherever we locate our stores, this new stolen document doesn’t seem to provide them any advantage.”
In October, Wal-Mart announced its expansion plans in general terms, without citing states or towns. At the time, it said it expected to open 335 to 370 new stores, including 180 expansion projects.