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    Wal-Mart to Open California DC

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is proposing Merced, Calif., as the site for a regional distribution center, with construction planned to begin in 2007, and service to stores to start in 2008.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is proposing Merced, Calif., as the site for a regional distribution center, with construction planned to begin in 2007, and service to stores to start in 2008.

    "This distribution center will combine the most advanced technology in warehouse logistics with the tried-and-true labor that has defined Merced -- all in an effort to provide optimum service to our stores and customers in the surrounding area," said Rollin Ford, e.v.p. of logistics for Wal-Mart. "It is a significant project that represents our continued commitment to California as a partner in both economic development and community."

    Ford noted that while it took a collective effort by many different people and parties to help secure a California site, special recognition should be given to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his economic development team, Sen. Jeffrey Denham, and development manager for the City of Merced, Frank Quintero.

    The new facility will be served by Wal-Mart's truck fleet, which recently enrolled in the environmentally conscious program, The SmartWay Transport Partnership, according to the company. "SmartWay" is a voluntary initiative that increases the U.S.'s energy efficiency and energy security, while reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

    Wal-Mart is also working with various suppliers throughout the trucking industry to explore running a "greener fleet." Ford said with the implementation of new "idle reduction technology," Wal-Mart in California is expected to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

    As of July 2005, Wal-Mart owns and operates four Supercenters, 149 discount stores, and 34 Sam's Clubs within California.

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