While its visitor's center occupies Sam Walton's original Bentonville storefront,
Wal-Mart long has outgrown its humble roots.
This big-box retailing giant rang up $191 billion in sales for the fiscal year
ending Jan. 31, 2001, at its 3,500 company-owned Wal-Mart and Sam's Club facilities
in the United States and more than 1,000 locations in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada,
Argentina, Brazil, China, Korea, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
High sales figures mean growth, and this retail leader is poised to expand.
Total planned capital expenditures for fiscal 2002 are approximately $9 billion.
Planned growth should reach 40 million square feet of net additional retail
Domestically, the company plans to open approximately 40 new Wal-Mart stores
and between 170 and 180 new Supercenters in fiscal 2002. Relocations or expansions
of existing discount stores will account for up to 110 of the Supercenters,
with the balance being new locations.
Wal-Mart Stores also plans to further its relatively new Neighborhood Market
concept by adding between 15 and 20 stores during fiscal 2002. Neighborhood
Markets offer a convenient shopping experience for customers who need groceries,
pharmaceuticals, and general merchandise beyond what a typical Wal-Mart store
First opened in 1998, Neighborhood Markets range from 42,000 to 55,000 square
feet and feature a wide variety of products, including fresh produce, deli foods,
fresh meat and dairy items, health and beauty aids, one-hour photo and traditional
photo developing services, drive-through pharmacies, stationery and paper goods,
pet supplies, and household chemicals.
Expansion plans for Sam's Club should reach about 50 clubs, half being relocations
and expansions of existing sites. The Sam's segment also will continue its ongoing
remodeling initiative, targeting 80 projects this year.
In order to serve these and future expansion projects, the company plans to
construct seven new distribution centers in the next fiscal year.
Internationally, plans include opening 100 to 110 new units throughout each
of the existing countries and will include new stores and clubs, as well as
relocations of a few existing units. In Mexico, plans also include restaurants,
department stores, and supermarkets.