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Wal-Mart plans store on U.S. 17
The world's largest retailer is planning to build a Supercenter near GEICO in Stafford County.

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Date published: 4/13/2006



People living in the developments springing up along U.S. 17 in Stafford County eventually won't have to drive as far to shop at a Wal-Mart.

The world's largest retailer plans to build a Supercenter near GEICO and Stafford Lakes Village.

"We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers, and we will feel this new Supercenter will help us do this," said spokeswoman Laurie Smalling.

She said it is too early in the planning process to set a timetable for construction or an opening date.

The new Supercenter will be located on a 25.19-acre tract on the southeast corner of U.S. 17 and Village Parkway. The property is owned by Larry Shaia, the Richmond-area developer of Stafford Lakes Village.

Part of the land will be developed as sites for a bank and a fast-food restaurant with a drive-through window. The rest will be used for Wal-Mart's Supercenter. At 232,437 square feet, it will be about 46,000 square feet larger than the average Supercenter.

"The size of our Supercenter is based on the number of customers and the community that we are serving," Smalling said. "A larger Supercenter allows for more merchandise choices to be on the shelves for our customers."

She did not know how many people will be hired to work at the new store, but said that, on average, a store of this size would employ around 400 people. The majority of these jobs would be full-time positions.

The new store will be the retail giant's third location--and second proposed Supercenter--for the county. The Stafford Board of Supervisors voted more than a year ago to allow Wal-Mart to double the size of its store off State Route 3 east in Washington Square Plaza near Ferry Farm from just over 100,000 square feet to 207,535 square feet.

"They're still redrawing the sites," said Bob Carter, Stafford's assistant director of economic development. "Engineers are working on it."

Wal-Mart has more than 6,000 stores worldwide, according to its Web site. These include some 1,200 discount stores, 2,000 combination discount and grocery stores (known as Supercenters in the United States and ASDA in the United Kingdom), and 565 Sam's Club warehouse stores.

To reach CATHY JETT: 540/374-5407
Email: cjett@freelancestar.com