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No Walmart store for Caroline County

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Caroline officials said Wednesday that Walmart would not be coming to a development in Ladysmith.

“Walmart Inc., in its effort to compete with other online retailers, has decided to contract the number of stores it will build annually from hundreds to 25 a year. The decision to step away from physical stores also includes Caroline County’s Ladysmith store. No Walmart store is anticipated to be built at the Blackwood retail development on Rt. 639 known as Ladysmith Crossing,” the county said in a press release.

Walmart announced plans in September 2015 to build a 158,000-square-foot supercenter store that was expected to create 300 jobs.  The company expected to make a $25 million investment in a 36-acre retail project by Richmond-based Blackwood Development.

While news of Walmart’s decision was disappointing, the county noted that in 2016 Walmart closed 269 existing stores and announced more cuts in its building plans last year.

The county staff is consulting with Blackwood Development to arrive at a new plan for the retail site located on the southwest corner of Ladysmith Road and Route 712 (Green Road), near the Ladysmith exit off I-95.

According to Gary R. Wilson, director of economic development for Caroline County, Blackwood has indicated that it intends to move forward with the project with modifications.

There also is no change in the county’s plans to upgrade Rt. 639.

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