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Meridian lands Sam's Club

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Oct. 28, 2003
Sam's Club is coming to Meridian.
Wal-Mart, Meridian and Lauderdale County officials announced plans Monday to build a Sam's Club at the site of the old Wal-Mart store on Highway 19 South and Interstate 20/59.
The Wal-Mart store closed in late 2001 when the company opened a Wal-Mart SuperCenter south of I-20/59.
Moore said the old Wal-Mart will be demolished and a 118,000 square-foot Sam's Club will be built in its place. When completed in fall 2004, Moore said, Sam's will employ 120 people 70 percent in full-time positions.
Sam's Club is a members-only warehouse club for both business and personal use. Sam's Club will sell 4,000 different items including electronics, appliances, clothing, fresh food and office supplies.
Mayor John Robert Smith said he and other city and county officials traveled in May to the International Conference of Shopping Centers in Las Vegas to recruit retail development for Meridian and Lauderdale County.
Smith said the conference is where city leaders recruited CBL and Associates, which built Bonita Lakes Mall.
Lauderdale County Supervisor Craig Hitt, who represents District 3 and serves as president of the board of supervisors, said the Sam's announcement is exciting news.
Smith said the Sam's property would be larger than the old Wal-Mart site, and some improvements in infrastructure will be required.
Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall said the Mississippi Department of Transportation work with city, county and state government to ensure there is adequate access to Sam's Club.