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Walmart Plans to Open Stores in Food Deserts

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. revealed July 20 that it will open up to 300 stores nationally in so-called “food deserts” by 2016, creating more than 40,000 jobs.

The giant retailer isn’t saying where it will locate the 275 to 300 stores — just that they’ll go somewhere in the more than 700 areas that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated as food deserts.

Wal-Mart announced its news at the White House with first lady Michelle Obama.

The stores, which will open in rural and urban areas, will provide access to groceries for more than 800,000 people living in food deserts, a news release said.

The stores announced Wednesday do not include stores that Wal-Mart is contemplating through its regular real estate process or the smaller stores that the company is opening in its new Walmart Express format.

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