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Sports Shop Prepares for 'Wal-Mart Effect'

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FUQUAY-VARINA — The owners of a small sports shop in Fuquay-Varina are not concerned about the opening of a new Wal-Mart store.

Lorraine Dotson, who opened the Fuquay Sports Shop with her husband almost three years ago, says she cannot compete with Wal-Mart's vast inventory, but she can offer something else -- service with a smile.

"When they can't find it at Wal-Mart, or they want a higher-quality product and customer service, we can provide that," Dotson says.

Wal-Mart has announced it will open a store soon in Fuquay-Varina, a growing Wake County town full of family-owned businesses.

As Wal-Mart stores have opened in other small towns, some local shops have gone out of business, unable to keep up with the discounter's huge selection and competitive prices. Many economists call it the "Wal-Mart Effect."

However, some Fuquay-Varina area residents say they will remain loyal to local merchants.

"In a small town, I think it's important to trade within the town," resident Donna Thompson says.

And though loyalty is key, Albert Wiggs of Knightdale says the service keeps him coming back.

"The smaller stores seem to cater to the specialty needs," Wiggs says.

No timetable has been set for the start of the Wal-Mart construction in Fuquay-Varina.

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Jay Jennings, Reporter
Jay Jennings, Photographer
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