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2005-10-23
South Fairbanks, AK. Residents Say Two Wal-Marts Not Fair in Fairbanks

Wal-Mart is planning to build its biggest supercenter prototype in Fairbanks, Alaska, and even residents in this enormous state are upset by the enormity of the proposed development. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner revealed in early October that Wal-Mart was mining prospects just south of the Fairbanks city limits on 37 acres of land. The Alaska Department of Transportation has received a "driveway application" from Wal-Mart, that shows "how the store will be oriented in relationship to the parking and how traffic will flow from the property onto a state highway," according to the News-Miner. Fairbanks already has a very large Wal-Mart, and it only opened in April of 2004. That store, on Johansen Expressway, is 162,570 s.f., or larger than 3 football fields. Now citizens are starting to organize against this over-sized plan. Sprawl-Busters received the following Alaska alert this week: "I am representing a grassroots group that has decided to take on Wal-Mart's efforts to build a Super Store in Fairbanks. We have the largest square footage Wal-Mart already, and it opened a couple of years ago. In fact, the excitement of a box store brought in charter buses of shoppers as far away as Whitehorse, Yukon Territories -- a good 14 hour drive!.We're starting a letters to the editor campaign this week."

What you can do: If people in the Yukon are willing to bus 14 hours to get to a Wal-Mart, they certainly don't need to build another one in South Fairbanks just miles from the largest Wal-Mart that already exists in Alaska, and is less than two years old. This second store is not needed by residents, but it's needed by Wal-Mart to show investors that the retailer is still rapidly growing. The company said recently that there is room in America for 4,000 more Wal-Marts. They might consider putting them all on the Alaska tundra -- but residents in that great state might not appreciate the saturation. Wal-Mart is willing to build superstores every five miles, because, as Sam Walton wrote, "We became our own competition." The theory is, it's better to pick your own pocket, than to have someone else pick it. This second store in Fairbanks will capture most of its sales from the first Wal-Mart -- but its all in the family. For local contacts in Fairbanks, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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