big-box store
n. A large-format store, typically one that has a plain, box-like exterior and at least 100,000 square feet of retail space. Also: big box.

Example Citations:
Manufacturers such as RCA and Sony, which used to depend on department stores to get their products to consumers, were lured from department stores and into big-box stores, where their brands could be advertised directly to consumers.
—Penny Parker, "Power centers power up," The Denver Post, September 11, 1995

Different as they are from each other, urban Stamford and semirural Wallingford face the same issue — what to do about an influx of “big-box” stores that they perceive as threatening their prized community characteristics
—Eleanor Charles, “In the Region: Connecticut; Coping With the Big Headaches ‘Big Boxes’ Bring,” The New York Times, February 25, 1996

Earliest Citation:
The intersection reflects the evolution of these power centers. The pioneering warehouse retailers and discounters resisted looking too good because it might suggest they were too expensive. So Price Club balked at costly aesthetics for its low-price warehouse image, and Orangefair's cosmetic improvements were pared by the owner.

Finally, some cities revolted against the "big-box" stores. They insisted on more attractive exteriors, landscaping and concealing the warehouse look with smaller stores along the big, blank exterior walls, says architect Todd Stoughtenborough, who has designed some of Alexander Haagen's power centers.
—Jan Norman, "Centers of attention," The Orange County Register, November 13, 1988

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