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Wal-Mart opens 2 stores in District

Wednesday - 12/4/2013, 1:15pm  ET

Wal-Mart D.C. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Customers visit the new Wal-Mart on Georgia Avenue Wednesday. (WTOP/John Aaron)
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WASHINGTON - The first two Wal-Mart stores in the nation's capital opened Wednesday.

The retailer held simultaneous ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 7:30 a.m. at its stores near Union Station and in the Brightwood neighborhood. The doors opened to customers shortly after that.

Michael Edwards was the first customer to line up for the opening of the Brightwood store, along Georgia Avenue.

"I got here at 2 o'clock this morning. I left because it was too cold. I came back at five," he said.

He hoped to land a Playstation 4 as one of the store's first customers.

Shaney Rutledge also got in line at 5 a.m. to "see what kind of deals they have, because they're just opening up after black Friday."

She liked the idea of having a Wal-Mart in the District.

"It's going to be great," she says. "[If your] car breaks down you can actually get on the bus, and it lets you off right here."

Mayor Vincent Gray attended the ribbon-cutting at the Brightwood store. He touted the creation of 800 jobs at the two new Wal-Mart locations.

"Those who said that nobody would be interested in these jobs should know that we had 23,000 applicants for the jobs at Wal-Mart," Gray says.

The stores are the first of as many as six that Wal-Mart plans to open in Washington.

The retailer had threatened to abandon plans for the additional stores if the city enacted a law that would have required large retailers to pay its employees at least $12.50 an hour.

Gray vetoed that bill.

The D.C. Council has since preliminarily approved a bill that would raise the city's minimum wage to $11.50 by 2016.

WTOP checked out the store on H Street before it opened. Click on the photo below for a tour of the store.

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