updated 11/14/2005 3:42:12 PM ET 2005-11-14T20:42:12

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open or expand 484 stores across the United States 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.

Wal-Mart Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based group backed by unions and environmental and other interests, said it will use the detailed list to alert activists in those communities listed in the document to help them 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 that the document belonged to them.

“This 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. Since the unions oppose us wherever we locate our stores, this new stolen document doesn’t seem to provide them any advantage,” Wal-Mart spokesman Marty Heires said.

Wal-Mart Watch said the list provided key details that would make it easier to organize local resistance because it names the specific towns and gives the size of expansion plans there.

“This internal document reveals where, when, and how Wal-Mart will bully its way across the country to open hundreds of new stores. With this in our hands, our committed supporters are now all the more ready to fight back,” Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director Andrew Grossman said in a statement.

Burt Flickinger, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Marketing, said the list’s publication could hurt Wal-Mart by giving advanced notice to opposition groups and local and state government officials who might be skeptical of letting Wal-Mart in.

“It presents a challenge to Wal-Mart, especially in key battleground states like California,” Flickinger said.

The 11-page list provides details that Wal-Mart has not made public about what type and size of store it plans and by what date, as well as for which communities. The world’s largest retailer operates four kinds of stores in the U.S. — Supercenters, which include a full grocery department, Discount Stores without the grocery component, smaller Neighborhood Markets that are mainly grocery, and Sam’s Clubs membership stores.

Wal-Mart in October listed its expansion plans in general terms, without mentioning states or towns. At that time, it said it expected to open 335 to 370 new stores, including 180 expansion projects, either upgrading a Discount Store to a Supercenter or expanding the size of a Sam’s Club.

It is the latest internal document obtained by Wal-Mart critics and may add to pressure on the Bentonville, Ark.-based company as it attempts to maintain a rapid growth rate in the face of criticism from organized opponents who claim it treats workers badly and hurts local economies.

Last month, Wal-Mart Watch released another internal Wal-Mart document that detailed the company’s plans to seek cost savings by cutting health care and retirement benefits, including proposals to make cashiers collect shopping carts to attract more physically fit employees and discourage unhealthy applicants.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 3.79%
$30K home equity loan FICO 4.99%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.69%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.83%
Cash Back Cards 17.80%
Rewards Cards 17.18%
Source: Bankrate.com