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Published: Friday, 9/15/2006

Wal-Mart to add groceries at 2 area stores

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to add full grocery stores to two existing suburban Toledo stores, adding to one of its supercenters in Holland and to a Toledo store it plans to expand.

The move rachets up the local food store rivalry which Kroger Co. has led for years.

The revelation of planned additions to the Navarre Avenue store in Oregon and to the Central Avenue store in Sylvania Township came from a national database of construction projects through which Wal-Mart began advertising for contractors.

In each case, the company wanted the bids submitted this month, the Dodge Report shows.

The average Wal-Mart carries 120,000 items, including some food items.

But the larger store with a full grocery area has 142,000 items.

The Sylvania Township store, at West Central and Holland-Sylvania Road, is 140,000 square feet, but the company plans to add 73,000 square feet.

The Oregon store has 152,000 square foot, but would be increased by 62,400 square feet.

Neither listing indicate when Wal-Mart expects the projects to be completed.

Ron Mosby, Wal-Mart's Ohio spokesman was not available for comment yesterday.

A month ago, he said the company would consider expanding the two stores if space on the site permitted.

The nation's largest retailer opened a large store with a full grocery in July in Holland with 203,000 square feet.

The firm has said it will add to its store on Glendale Avenue in Toledo to allow for groceries, and has plans to build such a store in Perrysburg.

It also has a big store with groceries in Bowling Green.

Those existing large stores enabled Wal-Mart to grab nearly 9 percent of the area's grocery sales recently, according to an August report by TradeDimensions International Inc.

Seven months earlier the firm had less than 2 percent of area grocery sales.

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