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Wal-Mart to open DC stores for first time

WASHINGTON — Wal-Mart says it plans to open stores in the nation’s capital for the first time.

The retail giant announced Wednesday that it plans to open four stores in the district and hire 1,200 employees by 2012. Wal-Mart already operates stores in Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland, but has never had a store in the district.

The four proposed locations are in neighborhoods where retail options are limited — the site of a former car dealership on Georgia Avenue NW; New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road NE; part of a new mixed-use development on New Jersey Avenue NW; and at East Capitol and 58th streets SE.

A company spokesman said wages would be above those of most union jobs at competing grocers, a statement that was questioned by one union president.