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Wal-Mart's Small Idea

Job postings on Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 's Web site are not necessarily a sign that the world's largest retailer is preparing a new, smaller-store format to respond to changing shopper patterns and the impending U. S. arrival of No. 1 British retailer Tesco PLC, the company said Monday.

Then again, the spokesmen said, the company is always evaluating possible changes. Four recent job postings mention store formats and design.

Tesco is preparing to open small-scale stores in California, Arizona and Nevada under the banner Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets. The company goes head-to-head with Wal-Mart's Asda chain in the United Kingdom.

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