USA: Wal-Mart Announces Expansion Plans
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (NYSE: WMT) announced the continuation of its aggressive unit growth for the fiscal year beginning February 1, 2001.Domestically, the Wal-Mart division plans to open approximately 40 newdiscount stores and 170 to 180 new Supercenters. This represents anacceleration of Supercenter unit expansion and reflects the strong consumer acceptance and financial results from the format. Relocations or expansions of existing discount stores will account for approximately 100 to 110 of the Supercenters while the remainder will be built in new trade territories.Wal-Mart International plans to open 100 to 110 units in existing markets. Projects are scheduled to open in each of the countries, and will include new stores and clubs as well as relocations of a few existing units. These announced units also include several restaurants, department stores, and supermarkets in Mexico. In addition, Germany will continue with the remodeling of all the acquired hypermarkets."The planned square footage growth for the coming year representsapproximately 40 m sq ft of new retail space, which will be the largest square footage increase in the company's history and an eight per cent increase over the fiscal 2001 yearly total," said Lee Scott, president and CEO.As of September 30, 2000 the company had 1742 Wal-Mart stores,835 Supercenters, 469 Sam's Clubs, and 13 Neighborhood Markets in the United States. Internationally, the company operated units in Argentina (11), Brazil (18), Canada (168), China (8), Germany (95), Korea (5) Mexico (481), Puerto Rico (15), and the United Kingdom (240). Wal-Mart employs more than 885,000 associates in the US and 255,000 internationally. Its securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges.
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