Inside This Issue - News
Walmart is set to push small stores
March 10th, 2014
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart is doubling the size of its rollout of small-format stores this year — adding between 270 and 300 stores in the United States, up from an earlier target of between 120 and 150 stores — in a mix that includes Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Express stores.
Sales at smaller stores rose 5% in the retailer’s fiscal fourth quarter, a bright spot in a challenging period for Walmart; sluggish consumer spending contributed to a 21% decline in profits in the three months through January. Full-year earnings fell nearly 6%.
The small-store expansion will help Walmart "usher in the next generation in retail," says Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. "Customers’ needs and expectations are changing,” Simon says. “They want to shop when they want and how they want, and we are transforming our business to meet their expectations."
Walmart has 346 Neighborhood Markets and 20 Walmart Express outlets. The company operated 4,835 stores in the United States as of January 31. Walmart says it is on track to open 115 Supercenters this year.
To pay for the additional growth, the company raised its capital spending allocation for its U.S. segment to between $6.4 billion and $6.9 billion from between $5.8 billion and $6.3 billion.
"The combination of Supercenters and smaller formats closer to customers’ homes, along with e-commerce and mobile commerce, will enable us to increase our relevance for the Walmart brand around the world," says Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and CEO.