Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced the continuation of its aggressive unit growth for the fiscal year beginning Feb. 1, 2001.

Domestically, the Wal-Mart division plans to open approximately 40 new discount stores and 170 to 180 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 100 to 110 of the Supercenters, while the remainder will be built in new trade territories.

The company will further expand its Neighborhood Market concept by adding15 to 20 units in the upcoming fiscal year, almost doubling the number of units added in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2001.

The SAM'S Club division will open 40 to 50 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 100 to 110 units in existing markets. Projects are scheduled to open in each of the countries, 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 all the acquired hypermarkets.

"The planned square footage growth for the coming year represents approximately 40 million square feet of new retail space, which will be the largest square footage increase in the company's history and an 8 percent increase over the fiscal 2001 yearly total," said Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The company will construct three new regional general merchandise distribution centers, two new food distribution centers and two fresh-food distribution centers during the next fiscal year. Combined, these seven distribution centers will add almost seven million square feet of distribution space.

The company's annual analyst meeting will begin Oct. 2 in Springdale, Ark. Presentations by the company's president and CEO, chief financial officer, divisional executives and Wal-Mart.com CEO will be Webcast live on the investor relations section of the company's Website at www.walmartstores.com at 1 p.m. Central Daylight Time and ending at approximately 5:30 p.m. The presentations will only be available live and will not be available in an archived format after the meeting.

As of Sept. 30, 2000, the company had 1,742 Wal-Mart stores, 835 Supercenters, 469 SAM'S Clubs and 13 Neighborhood Markets in the United States. Internationally, the company operated units in Argentina (11), Brazil (18), Canada (168), China (8), Germany (95), Korea (5) Mexico (481), Puerto Rico (15), and the United Kingdom (240). Wal-Mart employs more than 885,000 associates in the United States and 255,000 internationally. Its securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges.