Wal-Mart to open 115 new stores in China

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LYUCHANG lvchang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

US re­tail gi­ant Wal-Mart Stores Inc plans to open 115 new out­lets by 2017 and remodel more than 50 oth­ers this year to off­set slow­ing growth in China, a top com­pany ex­ec­u­tive said on Wed­nes­day.

“Over the next three years, we will in­crease in­vest­ment across our busi­ness op­er­a­tions in China, as the coun­try is a top pri­or­ity for us,” Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Doug McMil­lon told re­porters at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

The ex­pan­sion ofWal-Mart, al­most one-third by pres­ence in China, is part of the com­pany’s multi-for­mat strat­egy, which will in­clude su­per cen­ters and Sam’s Club for­mats in cities such as Shang­hai, Shen­zhen and Wuhan from 2015 to 2017, cre­at­ing more than 30,000 jobs.

TheUS re­tail chain has spent 600 mil­lion yuan ($96.8 mil­lion) to remodel more than 90 stores and now plans to in­vest more than 370 mil­lion yuan to up­grade 50 stores this year to bet­ter serve the Chi­nese cus­tomers, McMil­lon said.

The move came af­ter top global re­tail gi­ants such as the United King­dom-based Tesco Plc and France’s Car­refour SA, foundthe go­ing­tough­inChina, es­pe­cially due to slow­ing eco­nomic­growthand­hot­com­pe­ti­tion from on­line gro­cery stores.

Last year, Car­refour closed

mil­lion yuan eight stores, while Ger­man re­tail gi­ant Metro AG said it was closing its con­sumer elec­tron­ics busi­ness in China. Tesco re­ported 5.74 bil­lion pounds ($8.6 bil­lion) of net losses, its big­gest an­nual loss in its 96-year his­tory.

Though on­line gro­cery busi­nesses have changed the way con­sumers shop for goods, McMil­lon said he be­lieves that phys­i­cal stores would con­tinue to pros­per. “Some peo­ple may pre­fer to shop on­line, but some shop for fun, and they like to se­lect fresh food for them­selves, or maybe they want to go out any­way,” he said.

Ray­mond Bracy, Wal-Mart China’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of cor­po­rate af­fairs, said that an ex­pand­ing mid­dle class is en­cour­ag­ing for Wal-Mart to move into the emerg­ing thir­dand fourth-tier cities, adding that the com­pany would also push for fur­ther devel­op­ment of e-com­merce.

The re­tail gi­ant’s pur­chase of a ma­jor­ity stake in the Chi­nese e-com­merce com­pany Yi­hao­dian has been ap­proved by reg­u­la­tors in Au­gust.

Since its en­try into China in 1996, Wal-Mart has opened 412 stores in 165 cities and part­nered with nearly 20,000 lo­cal sup­pli­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.