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USA Today reports that the construction of big box stores in the US is on the upswing, with construction in "general merchandise" stores up more than 20 percent in November 2003 compared to the same month a year earlier.

Wal-Mart alone plans to build 306 stores in the US this year; it will open its three thousandth US store today, in San Antonio, Texas.

Lowe's, the home improvement chain, plans 140 stores in 2004, while Target has 100 stores on tap, Staples has 90, and Costco has 30.
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