Wal-Mart Stores has said its plans to expand into Washington DC will allow the retailer to provide more convenient access to “affordable, healthy food”.

The world’s largest retailer will open the 80,000-120,000 sq ft stores in the district of Columbia, it announced today (18 November). It currently has a distribution centre in Grandview, Washington, which it opened in 2003, although it has not yet opened any stores in the district.

The stores – all scheduled to open in late 2012 – will offer customers a full grocery selection, including fresh produce, a bakery, delicatessen and organic food items as well as a full service pharmacy and general merchandise.

The stores will be located on; 801 New Jersey Avenue NW; Georgia and Missouri Avenue NW; Capitol Heights (East Capitol Street and 58th); and New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road.

“DC residents want more convenient access to quality jobs and affordable groceries,” said Henry Jordan, senior vice president, Walmart US. “We want to be part of the solution and look forward to building even more support for what our brand can deliver.”

Jordan added that the company is evaluating additional small, medium and large sites across the entire district, including under-served areas east of the Anacostia River.