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The world's biggest retailer will open the first of its grocery-only stores in Hamilton County next week.

Wal-Mart said this week that store and city officials will cut the ribbon at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to open the latest Neighborhood Market supermarket at 8101 East Brainerd Road, at the intersection with Graysville Road.

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In the shadow of First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Brainerd, building supplies lay nearby as grading work continues late Wednesday for the new Wal-Mart store at the corner of Moore and Shallowford Roads.

The 41,000-square-foot store is similar to the Neighborhood Market Wal-Mart opened in Fort Oglethorpe in January and what Wal-Mart will open over the next five months at new grocery-only stores in Hixson, Brainerd, Middle Valley and Dalton, Ga. The new store will have about 90 full- and part-time workers and also include a gas station at each store.

"We're still putting the finishing touches on our store, but we're ready and anxious to open," said Steven Hamlet, the store manager for the new East Brainerd Neighborhood Market who relocated to Chattanooga from Destin, Fla., to run the new grocery. "I've been very pleased with the talent pool we've been able to hire here and I'm excited to get going."

Fletcher Bright Co. is developing a new neighborhood market store in the Highland Plaza shopping center and Polestar Development Co., a subsidiary of Hutton Co., continues to build other new Neighborhood Market stores at the corner of Shallowford and Moore Roads in Brainerd, in Middle Valley near Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School, in East Ridge at 4150 Monroe Road off Ringgold Road and in Dalton at the Bry-Man's Plaza shopping center on Walnut Avenue.

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