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The Associated Press reports that in New England, one of the few places in the US where Wal-Mart is not a dominant fixture, the battle for market share already is taking place even while Wal-Mart positions itself by finding locations, often in old Caldor or Bradlees locations.

Both Ahold’s Stop & Shop and Shaw’s are aggressively building and remodeling stores, staking out turf for the ultimate turf battle with the world’s ultimate retail competitor.

New England and California are the only major markets where Wal-Mart Supercenters have been largely unknown quantities, though that is about to change.

Wal-Mart plans to open as many as 60 supercenters in California over the next two years. There are 18 of the formats in New England, with at least another six scheduled to open before the end of 2003.
KC's View:
Wal-Mart also may run into a strong pro-union climate in New England, and it will be interesting to see how it deals with that.

The AP story doesn’t even begin to delve into the impact of Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets coming into the region, in part because the Bentonville Behemoth continues to play those cards close to the vest.

It so happens that about two miles up the road from us, Wal-Mart is putting in a supercenter. Best we can tell, few of the local retailers (except for Shaw’s) seem to have any idea that this will have any impact on them.

What fools these mortals be…