Wal-Mart opens on old Fred Meyer site

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Wal-Mart's newest Vancouver store, a grocery-focused Neighborhood Market, opened to a small crowd of eager customers on Thursday at Fourth Plain and Grand boulevards, less than one year after the company's first Neighborhood Market opened near Westfield Vancouver mall.

A new Wal-Mart Supercenter store is set to open this spring in Battle Ground and illustrates the intense local expansion of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer. Wal-mart will nearly double its local presence by adding the three new stores to its existing three locations, at Interstate 205 and Southeast Mill Plain Boulevard, Northeast Highway 99 and in east Vancouver on 192nd Avenue. Those stores opened between 1998 and 2006.

The store at Fourth Plain and Grand takes the place of a long-vacant Fred Meyer, vacated in 2008, store and adds much-needed groceries to the corridor.

The area's two other grocery stores, St. John's IGA and Albertsons, closed earlier this year.