Walmart Plans to Open 500 New Stores in China
Despite an economic downshift, Walmart plans to expand in China, CNN reported. The retailer announced it will be opening 500 new stores in China over the next five years to seven years, which would be more than double Walmart's current footprint in the country. Earlier this year, Walmart announced plans to invest more than a billion dollars into its China business. In addition to opening 500 new stores, it will remodel more than 200 stores in China, adding features such as self-service cash registers.
China is expected to become the world's biggest grocery market by 2023, CNN reported. However, the country's economy is stagnating as it's struggling with slow growth and a trade war with the U.S. That aside, Chinese consumers are still spending.
Total Retail's Take: Considering Walmart's China sales grew 6.3 percent last quarter, compared to 2.5 percent growth worldwide, and the predictions that China will be the largest grocery market in four years, it makes a lot of sense for the retail chain to accelerate expansion efforts in that market. Walmart already has a connection with Chinese consumers through JD.com, one the largest e-commerce sites in China, putting it in an even stronger position to thrive in the country, especially as more consumers demand fresh groceries. International expansion is a focal point for Walmart as it looks to grow global market share.