Sven Gustafson 

Do not adjust your TV sets: More than a dozen major national companies including AutoZone, Wal-Mart, Aldi, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chase Bank, and Tim Hortons are expanding in Michigan.

Companies are trying to capitalize on the growing demand here for lower-priced food, goods and services, The Detroit News reports. That means millions of dollars in new investment and badly needed new jobs as companies build anew or take over vacant storefronts.

Discount grocery chain Aldi expects to add seven stores in the next two years in Michigan, which is one of its top 10 markets nationwide, and has already been hiring in the Detroit area. Wal-Mart plans to open 13 stores here, expand others and move into urban markets such as Detroit. And Meijer will open stores next year in Grand Rapids, Rochester Hills and Petoskey.

"It is important to look at this and realize Michigan is still filled with a large population that needs to eat, shop and be entertained," Scott Watkins, senior consultant with the Anderson Economic Group, told the News. "With the right business model, you can make a lot of money."


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