It would seem to be official, but Walmart officials aren't officially confirming anything.

It would seem to be official, but Walmart officials aren't officially confirming anything.

Nevertheless, representatives of the world's largest retailer last month filed paperwork with Columbus Public Health for "new construction and installation of new facilities and equipment" for a Walmart Supercenter at 7682 Sawmill Road.

There have been longstanding rumors a Walmart would be the anchor store in the Olde Sawmill Square Shopping Center, which is being redeveloped by the real estate services firm Casto.

But this official step, possibly one of many Walmart representatives must take, is not being officially acknowledged.

When members of the media seek comment from Walmart officials they are being invited to call a toll-free number and provide their contact information and nature of their query.

The vice president in the Columbus office of a public relations firm that does work in Ohio for Walmart returned the call, and was asked by a reporter what -- if any -- information was available on the Olde Sawmill Square location.

"I can't say, and I've forwarded your questions from your message to Walmart and I'm waiting to hear back regarding what we can say," Mark Rickel of Lesic and Camper Communications, which also has an office in Cleveland, said last week.

When contact a day later, Rickel stated:

"From Walmart communications, we have nothing to announce at this time."

Speculation that a Walmart would be part of the 152,900-square-foot shopping center's redevelopment has circulated among merchants there since last fall, but representatives with Casto and Walmart aren't confirming anything at this point.

According to the website for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Sam Walton opened the first store July 2, 1962, in Rogers, Ark.

A decade later, Walmart had 51 stores, recorded sales of $78 million and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Last year marked the chain's 50th anniversary. The company website states Walmart employs 2.2 million people worldwide, with more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries.