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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is reportedly planning to open its biggest U.S. unit so far on the outskirts of Albany, N.Y. this spring. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer typically reserves its larger stores for rural areas, but in this case it saw an opportunity to combine a standard-sized Wal-Mart store with space left vacant by a failed Sam's Club warehouse outlet.
The 260,000-square-foot, two-story Wal-Mart Supercenter will sell department store merchandise as well as groceries, liquor, and automotive and other services.
The mammoth footprint is more than 25 percent bigger than the average Wal-Mart Supercenter, which typically measures around 205,000 square feet, according to a Wal-Mart spokesman quoted in press reports.
In the 1990s, the site was home to a Sam's Club -- Wal-Mart's members-only warehouse store -- and a Wal-Mart department store. The Sam's Club was located on the lower floor of the dual-level shopping center.
Wal-Mart closed the Sam's Club in 2006 because of low membership, according to reports.
The new Supercenter will feature escalators that move both people and shopping carts.