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Wal-Mart wants smaller Pullman store

Retailer calls smaller footprint more “sustainable”

Wal-Mart wants to cut 68,000 square feet from its planned south Pullman superstore, the retailer announced today.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. previously received approval for a 223,000-square-foot structure on Bishop Boulevard. Today, the company filed plans with the city reducing the size to 155,000 square feet.

Citizen group Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development had challenged the Wal-Mart Supercenter over concerns about its affects on traffic and businesses, eventually losing the case in Washington’s 3rd District Court of Appeals.

The decision to seek a smaller footprint was not driven by the ailing economy, but by technological advances that allow a smaller store to provide comparable service, said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karianne Fallow. She touted the smaller store as more “sustainable” in a news release, claiming the change will reduce traffic at nearby intersections and paved parking space by roughly a third.

The average Wal-Mart measures about 185,000 square feet, Fallow said.

“We are committed to providing the Pullman community with a store design that addresses our commitment to sustainability while continuing to deliver on our promise to help people save money and live better,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karianne Fallow said in the release.

Wal-Mart expects to begin construction in 2010 on the store, which will offer groceries, general merchandise, a pharmacy and a garden center.

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