business news in context, analysis with attitude

Wal-Mart opened its first supercenter in California yesterday, the first of 40 planned supercenters that it said it hopes to open in the state over the next few years.

The new store, in La Quinta near Palm Springs in southern California, opened its doors as the company celebrated the fact that a Contra Costa County ballot initiative overthrew a piece of legislation designed to ban the building of "big box" supercenters in that northern California county.

However, Wal-Mart did suffer a setback in the city of San Marcos in northern San Diego County, where voters ratified a change in zoning rules that would have allowed a second Wal-Mart store to be built there.

Next month, a vote by residents in Inglewood, a suburb of Los Angeles, will determine whether a supercenter can be built there.
KC's View:
Let's see what Wal-Mart does in San Marcos; the Bentonville Behemoth is famous for not taking "no" for an answer.

The power of the Nation of Wal-Mart can be seen in what is transpiring down in Alabama, where it reportedly is about to supplant Bruno's as the top-ranked grocer in the Ahold-owned chain's home market. That's more that just a black eye for Bruno's…it creates a marketing problem for Ahold, which is trying to sell the company.