WAL-MART DETAILS EXPANSION PLAN

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week unveiled plans to open about 100 U.S. supercenters in the fiscal year beginning Feb. 1.ctations. About 70 of the U.S. supercenters will come from relocations or expansions of existing discount stores, Wal-Mart said.Wal-Mart also said it plans to open five to 10 Sam's Clubs and about 50 new discount stores next year plus two regional general merchandise

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week unveiled plans to open about 100 U.S. supercenters in the fiscal year beginning Feb. 1.

ctations. About 70 of the U.S. supercenters will come from relocations or expansions of existing discount stores, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart also said it plans to open five to 10 Sam's Clubs and about 50 new discount stores next year plus two regional general merchandise and two food distribution centers. Globally, Wal-Mart plans a total of 30 to 35 new discount stores, supercenters and Sam's Clubs in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Patrick McCormack, an analyst at Dean Witter, New York, said the level of supercenter openings "is a little less than I would have thought because most of the growth will be from supercenters." Yet Wal-Mart's decision not to go beyond 100 supercenter openings may aid its financial results, he noted.

As of Sept. 30, Wal-Mart's U.S. operations included 1,946 discount stores, 324 supercenters and 436 Sam's Clubs.

Wal-Mart operates 234 international stores. This month, it named John Lupo, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of the stores division, as chief operating officer of its international division.