US supermarket giant Wal-Mart is trialling three convenience stores in southern China, a spokesperson told just-food today (8 May).

The three stores, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, opened in December last year in a bid to "better meet customer's increasing needs", the company said.

"This is a fast moving market and we need to be innovative to cater to the consumer demands. Currently, all the three stores are in Shenzhen. We will see how these are received by the market and will move forward accordingly," the spokesperson said.

"This is still a new format but so far we have had a good reaction and we are encouraged by the results."

The retailer declined to comment on reports that Wal-Mart is to open further stores in China later this year.

The retailer, which currently operates 147 outlets in the country, last month played down reports that plans to restructure its Chinese operations could be derailed by opposition from employees and their union representatives.

The company intends to eliminate a layer in its current management structure. Employees affected by the move will be given the option to relocate to other Wal-Mart stores.