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.
big-boxing pp.

Example Citation:
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

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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