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Wal-Mart Gasses Up

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores is building its own gasoline stations, according to a report in The Dallas Morning Star. The chain has been partnering with other companies, primarily Arkansas-based Murphy Oil Corp., to operate gasoline pumps in more than 800 of its store parking lots under lease arrangements. But the chain is now opening stations under its own brand, with locations at Sam’s Clubs in Virginia and at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pineville, Mo.

Oil Express, a weekly newsletter, quoted sources in Monday’s edition as saying the chain plans to open up to 200 to 300 stations within a year or so and that its total could exceed 500 later this decade.

“The expansion of Wal-Mart’s gasoline marketing program is fueled by the success the firm has seen in marrying a competitive offering at the pump to lift inside-store sales,” Oil Express said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sharon Weber said that she wasn’t aware of any expansion plans.

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