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In The Belly Of The Beast

Like a modern day David to Bentonville’s Goliath, Frank Wildhaber, owner of 27-year-old L & W Appliance here, decided to open his newest store directly across the street from Wal-Mart. Wildhaber, a member of the Best Brands Plus buying group, described the location as a “boom area” on the outskirts of town. “If we stay in the same rut, we’re going to get squashed by our competition,” he said. “I wanted to be in the traffic zone.” He reasons that if even a small fraction of Wal-Mart’s 25,000 area shoppers trickles into his new site, it’ll be successful. The unit, set to open later this month, will adopt Best Brands Plus’ banner store concept and design.