USA: Wal-Mart announces expansion plans
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced the continuation of its aggressive unit growth for the fiscal year beginning Feb. 1, 2002.
Domestically, the Wal-Mart division plans to open approximately 50 new discount stores and 180 to 185 new Supercenters. This represents an acceleration of Supercenter unit expansion and reflects the strong consumer acceptance and financial results from the format. Relocations or expansions of existing discount stores will account for approximately 110 to 115 of the Supercenters, while the remainder will be built in new locations. The company plans to further accelerate the timing of Supercenter openings by delivering more units into the system during the first half of the next fiscal year versus the year ending Jan. 31, 2002.
The company will further expand its Neighborhood Market concept by adding approximately 15 to 20 new units in the upcoming fiscal year.
The SAM'S CLUB division will open 50 to 55 domestic clubs, approximately half of which will be relocations or expansions of existing clubs. The division will also continue its aggressive remodeling program with approximately 100 projects in the next fiscal year.
Wal-Mart International plans to open 120 to 130 units in existing markets. Projects are scheduled to open in each country in which the company operates, and will include new stores and clubs as well as relocations of a few existing units. These announced units also include several restaurants, department stores and supermarkets in Mexico. In addition, Germany will continue with the remodeling of the acquired hypermarkets.
"The planned square footage growth for the coming year 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 chief executive officer.
The company will construct two new regional general merchandise distribution centers, three new food distribution centers and two fresh food distribution centers during the next fiscal year. Combined, these seven distribution centers will add almost 7 million square feet of distribution space.
The company yesterday held a live webcast of presentations by the company's president and CEO, chief financial officer, and divisional executives.
If you were unable to view the webcast, a live conference call will be available by dialing 973/633-1010. No pass code will be required for this call. The presentations and call will only be available live and will not be available in an archived format after the meeting.
Wal-Mart includes the following cautionary statement to take advantage of the "safe harbor" provisions of the PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995 for any forward looking statement made by, or on behalf of, Wal-Mart. You are referred to Wal-Mart's SEC filings for additional information regarding the safe harbor. The factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from predicted results include, among other things, cost of goods, competitive pressures, inflation, consumer debt levels, interest rate fluctuations, and other risks set forth in the company's filings with the SEC.
As of Sept. 30, 2001, the company had 1,651 Wal-Mart stores, 1,026 Supercenters, 486 SAM'S CLUBS and 26 Neighborhood Markets in the United States. Internationally, the company operated units in Argentina (11), Brazil (21), Canada (179), China (15), Germany (93), Korea (9), Mexico (526), Puerto Rico (17) and United Kingdom (247). Wal-Mart employs more than 962,000 associates in the United States and 282,000 internationally.
Companies: Wal-Mart Stores
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