Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. the largest retailer in the world by sales said that it plans to launch about 30 retail stores and add to its existing network of distribution centers in China. The retail giant had earlier shuttered a number of underperforming stores in China.
Among the new stores on the anvil, 28 are slated to be supercenters and with the rest being Sam’s Clubs. Most supercenters will be launched in China’s tier-one and tier-two cities including Shanghai, Wuhan, and Jilin as well as Xingtai and Fuyang.
As the urban sprawl continues in China, Walmart hopes to keep pace with it and capitalize on the increasing urban population in the world’s second largest economy, the company said. Walmart plans to set up two new Sam’s Clubs in Changzhou and Wuhan. Sam’s Clubs are the retail giant’s top-end membership format.
As of fiscal 2014 ending January 31, Walmart opened 12 new warehouses in the country, and reported that its net sales saw a 1.3% spike to touch USD 57.2 billion. The company’s incoming CEO and president Sean Clarke said that the outlook for Sam’s Clubs looks positive, especially many Chinese cities provide the right customer base for this high-end membership club.
In the current year, Clarke said that the company will continue to focus on making long-term investments with the aim of bringing about steady growth. This the company plans to achieve via optimizing China operations by investing in distribution centers and stores. At the same time, the company has its eyes set on maintaining price leadership while keeping a close watch on product quality and safety.
Currently, Walmart operates over 400 stores in China, but will also be closing five stores in the country in a bid to reposition itself.