Big chains cancel Anchorage store plans

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- National chains have postponed or canceled four ''big-box'' stores they were planning to build in Alaska's largest city.

Home Depot, Sam's Club, Lowe's and Wal-Mart have all scrapped or delayed stores planned for this year.

Home Depot told property owner Jack Miller last Friday that it will not buy his land and build a store in the Muldoon area.

Instead, the home-improvement retailer indicated it is looking to expand its current midtown store.

Home Depot is also considering a 145,000-square-foot store in the Matanuska-Susitna area, said contractor Roger Hickel, whose company built the Anchorage Home Depot and is about to begin construction on a Fairbanks store.

''They told me the Home Depot management is reviewing all new stores and deciding whether or not to move ahead with them,'' Hickel said.

Sam's Club last week canceled its Muldoon store, according to an Anchorage developer who had sought to sell his land to the Arkansas chain.

In South Anchorage, Wal-Mart and an Anchorage landowner no longer have a contract that would allow Wal-Mart to replace a 7-year-old store with a much larger one, according to the landowner's agent.

Lowe's delayed construction earlier this month on a South Anchorage store.

Representatives of Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Home Depot told the Anchorage Daily News Wednesday they were unable to confirm whether their companies had canceled or merely delayed their store plans.

Some retailers are struggling with the Lower 48 economic downturn this year, which has slowed consumer spending and hurt the stock prices of some national chains.

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