FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2003

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us
(804) 786-2211, x2379


Keith Morris
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
(860) 647-0233
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
WAL-MART SELECTS ROCKINGHAM COUNTY FOR REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER
-Governor Warner announces 1,000 new jobs, $55 million investment-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will invest $55 million to locate a regional distribution center in Rockingham County, creating 1,000 new jobs for the Shenandoah Valley. The 1.2 million-square-foot facility, to be located off Interstate 81 and north of State Road 682 in Mount Crawford, is projected to begin construction in the Spring of 2004 with planned service to stores expected in the Spring of 2005. Virginia successfully competed with Maryland and Pennsylvania for the project. This news marks the largest single economic development announcement, in terms of new jobs created, for Governor Warner since taking office in January 2002.

“My administration is working hard to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Warner. “Today’s announcement is further evidence of Virginia’s world-class transportation network. I am excited to welcome Wal-Mart and these 1,000 new jobs to Rockingham County.”

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. currently operates 21 Discount Stores, 52 Supercenters, 13 SAM’S Clubs, three distribution centers, and employs more than 31,500 associates in Virginia. With annual sales of approximately $244 billion, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates more than 2,740 discount stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, and more than 500 SAM'S CLUBS in the United States. Last year Wal-Mart associates raised and contributed nearly $200 million to support communities and local non-profit organizations. FORTUNE magazine has named Wal-Mart the “most admired” company in America, and Americans named Wal-Mart the company they think of first in supporting local causes and issues, according to Cone, Inc. More information about Wal-Mart can be located on-line at www.walmartstores.com and www.walmart.com.

Initial hiring of more than 600 area residents is expected to begin in early 2005. More than 95 percent of the jobs created will be full-time positions. Full-time Wal-Mart associates are eligible for a comprehensive benefits package, which includes health insurance, profit sharing, 401K, paid vacations, stock purchase, scholarships and store discounts.

“The Mount Crawford regional distribution center will provide Wal-Mart the opportunity to better serve the growing number of Wal-Mart customers who shop at our stores in the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Rollin Ford, executive vice president of logistics for Wal-Mart. “It is a significant project that represents our continued commitment to Virginia as a partner in both economic development and community.”

Governor Warner approved a $1.5 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Rockingham County with the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Rockingham County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership assisted Wal-Mart with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

“Rockingham County, recognizing the economic benefit the Wal-Mart distribution center brings to the Valley, will make a significant commitment to the project,” said Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dee Floyd. “Our staff has worked diligently with the state and company representatives to make this project a reality, and we look forward to Wal-Mart Stores becoming an integral part of our community as a corporate citizen.”

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