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Wal-Mart’s annual meeting is taking place this week, and investors have plenty of reason to celebrate, given that the retailer is prevailing while others are struggling during the recession.But this article asks a question we hadn’t given much thought to: “Can these gains last when the economy improves and shoppers once again choose to shop elsewhere?”“The battle among retailers is to get footsteps in the store,” says Gilford Securities analyst Bernard Sosnick. “I don’t know what’s going to happen three years after a recovery, but I know what’s going to happen at its inception — whoever’s got the footsteps will benefit.”Before things started going down hill, Target would consistently post better monthly sales than its larger rival. Will we see another shift whenever this crazy economy stabilizes, or is Wal-Mart’s dominance here to stay?

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