Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it plans to open or expand 40 to 45 discount stores and 240 to 250 Supercenters in the U.S. in 2005, continuing its aggressive expansion plan.
Relocations or expansions of current stores will account for about 160 of the new Supercenters, which sell both discounted general merchandise and groceries, the Bentonville, AR, U.S. company said.
Wal-Mart also expects to open 30 to 40 new Sam's Club warehouse stores, including about 20 relocations or expansions of existing stores. Internationally, the retailer said it expects to open 155 to 165 new stores, including 30 current stores that will be either relocated or expanded.
The expansion plan will start at the beginning of the company's next fiscal year on Feb. 1, 2005. The plan also includes building three new merchandise distribution centers, as well as remodeling 360 stores and clubs.
It will result in about 55 million square feet of new retail space, an 8-percent increase above the 655 milion square feet the retailer estimates it will have at the end of this fiscal year, Wal-Mart President and Chief Executive Lee Scott said.
Wal-Mart stores produced more than U.S. $256 billion in sales in the company's last fiscal year. (Reuters)
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