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Where you shop -- Kroger
Where you shop -- Kroger
Retailers often use census data to decide where to open new locations, and sometimes the numbers point to the most unlikely places.

When Dale Caldwell first arrived at a lot in the Las Vegas desert about 15 years ago, all he could see was dirt for miles. But Caldwell, who heads the research department for Kroger's grocery chains, knew he had crunched his numbers right, so Kroger opened one of its Smith's grocery stores on the spot.

Years later, that store stands on a busy intersection. Thousands of homes were built on the city's fringe, and those residents need groceries. Even amid Sin City's housing bust, that Smith's grocery store is still one of Kroger's best-performing locations in the Las Vegas area.

NEXT: What's in your mailbox -- Family Dollar

Last updated March 16 2010: 5:24 PM ET
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