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Wal-Mart banking proposal draws criticism

SHARE Wal-Mart banking proposal draws criticism

Wal-Mart entered the grocery business in 1988 to compete with established names such as Kroger, Safeway and Albertsons, which had dominated food retailing for decades. Today Wal-Mart is America's biggest grocer, with 16 percent of the U.S. retail food market, and its sales continue to climb.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s decision to jump full-force into toys about 15 years ago has had similar results. Its sales overtook leader Toys R Us Inc. in 1998. Wal-Mart now has 28 percent of that market. And it's not just food and toys, according to a Washington Post article on Page M10 of today's Money section.

Congressional lawmakers and federal regulators now face a tough question: Should they permit Wal-Mart to use a legal loophole to enter banking in Utah and potentially do in that arena what it has done to nearly every other consumer product and service it has touched?