retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Washington Post reports that while the Orange County Board of Supervisors in Virginia has approved the building of a Walmart Supercenter near to the National Park Service's Wilderness Battlefield, opponents have pledged to continue their battle against the retailer.

Jim Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust, released a statement acknowledging that the vote was a setback but saying that “the battle is not over yet.”

"The ball is now in Walmart's court," he said. "It's in the corporation's best interest to work with the preservation community to find an alternative site. ...We are optimistic that company officials will see the wisdom of moving somewhere else."

Litigation to stop Walmart from building on the site is considered possible, and analysts expect that the retailer is unlikely to back away from a battle with preservationists.

• The Denver Business Journal reports that Walmart is rolling out a bill-paying service in all of its stores around the country. “Customers are now able to pay bills for credit cards, utilities, phones, cable and satellite TV and auto loans, among other bills, at Walmart MoneyCenters and customer service desks,” the story says.

“We're introducing Walk-in Bill Pay nationwide to provide another affordable money service option that will help families manage their monthly budgets so that they can save money and live better in these tough economic times,” Jane Thompson, president of Walmart Financial Services, said in a statement.
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