Walmart to expand footprint in China with 115 new stores
Walmart is planning to open around 115 new stores in China by 2017, a move that will increase the retailer's presence by over 25% in the country.
The move comes as the retailer is planning to avoid slower growth in China by closing some under-performing stores and focusing on the growing online grocery market through its Yihaodian.com platform.
Commenting on the development plans, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said: "Our aim is to become an integral part of China's economy."
The proposed stores will be located in cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan, creating more than 30,000 jobs.
Walmart, which had 411 stores in China at the end of January this year, also plans to invest around $60m to remodel more than 50 stores this year.
"China is a key strategic market for Walmart. Over the next three years we will increase investment across our diverse business operations in China," added McMillon.
In February, Wal-Mart said that its China net sales fell by 0.7%, with comparable same-store sales falling 2.3%, for the quarter ended 31 January.
As reported in Bloomberg, Walmart's 115 new stores include both its supercenters and Sam's Clubs, with plans to open seven of the members-only stores over the next two to three years.
The retailer will also launch an app that will allow customers to purchase products through their phones. The purchases can either be collected or delivered.
Image: Walmart's 115 new stores include both its supercenters and Sam's Clubs. Photo: courtesy of GeneralCheese / Wikipedia.