The Wal-Mart store openings list that Sprawl-Busters obtained last week and leaked to Wal-Mart Watch, which showed 484 planned store openings, by size, type and state, is just “a list of possibilities,” a company spokesman told the Natchez, Mississippi Democrat newspaper. “I think the value of this list is limited,” said company spokesman Marty Heires. ” It’s not the accurate list of the sites that we plan to build in the coming year, that’s another list. Essentially, this is a list of possibilities,” Heires told the Democrat that doesn’t mean the company is trying to catch anybody off guard. “This is a list of possible sites for the next 12-14 months,” he said. “This list is for planning purposes, and at any given time, there are probably about 20 percent more sites on it than will actually be built during the year.” In other words, the newspaper said, don’t be surprised if 100 of those stores don’t get built. On Oct. 24, Wal-Mart released its 2006 expansion plan that called for between 335-370 new stores to open in the United States. The release did not name specific cities being targeted for a new store. “The numbers we gave out in October, those are the accurate numbers,” Heires said.
Sprawl-Busters estimates that citizen opposition over the projected 12 month period will stop or seriously delay as many as 100 new stores. This list proves that Wal-Mart shoots to open 484 stores, knowing that as many as 20% or more of these stores will be blocked. So the list is accurate. There is not “another list.” This is the list the company circulates to its vendors to help them prepare to supply the company with goods. But it will shrink as local citizen’s groups knock some stores out of the list. Wal-Mart now has to publicly explain that they add 20% more stores to the list, expecting many of them never to materialize. The company has to spend millions of dollars trying to build those 100 stores, however, and wastes months of time and money fighting community groups at the local level. The list of community victories is posted on the Victorious Secrets page of this website. The Wal-Mart list was not “stolen”, it was passed on to Sprawl-Busters by one of the retailer’s many admirers.