Wal-Mart Announces Expansion Plans
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Undeterred by an economic downtown, Wal-Mart said Tuesday it plans to open 50 discount stores in the United States in the fiscal year that begins Feb. 1.
The nation’s largest retailer also announced plans for 70 new Supercenters and the expansion or relocation of 110-115 existing discount stores as Supercenters.
The company will expand its Neighborhood Market grocery stores by adding 15-20 units during the new fiscal year. The Sam’s Club division will open 50-55 domestic clubs. About 50 percent of those will be relocations or expansions of existing clubs. The division will also continue its aggressive remodeling program with about 100 projects during the fiscal year.
``The planned square footage growth for the coming years represents approximately 46 million square feet of new retail space, which will be the largest square footage increase in the company’s history and a 9 percent increase over the fiscal 2002 total,″ said Lee Scott, president and CEO.
As of Sept. 30, the company had 1,651 Wal-Mart stores, 1,026 Supercenters, 486 Sam’s Clubs and 26 Neighborhood Markets in the United States.
Shares of Wal-Mart rose $2.24 to close at $52 in trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.