WAL-MART SETS BRAZIL OUTLAY

SAO PAULO, Brazil (FNS) -- Wal-Mart Stores plans to invest $100 million in Brazil in 1997 to open four supercenters, all to be located in the Southern state of Sao Paulo, where it has opened five stores since May 1995.to open three Sam's Clubs and two supercenters in the city of Sao Paulo, South America's largest metropolis. The four new supercenters would push that investment to $300 million. "We're

SAO PAULO, Brazil (FNS) -- Wal-Mart Stores plans to invest $100 million in Brazil in 1997 to open four supercenters, all to be located in the Southern state of Sao Paulo, where it has opened five stores since May 1995.

to open three Sam's Clubs and two supercenters in the city of Sao Paulo, South America's largest metropolis. The four new supercenters would push that investment to $300 million. "We're only beginning," Martin said in local press reports. "We didn't come here to open just a few stores."

So far, Wal-Mart has located all its Brazilian stores in the Sao Paulo area. But only one of the four new supercenters will be opened there, in the suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo in mid-1997. Two other supercenters will be open in mid- to late 1997 in the cities of Bauru, 200 miles northwest of Sao Paulo, and Ribeiro Preto, 180 miles northwest of Sao Paulo. The fourth supercenter, the first to be located in the city of Sao Paulo, is slated to open late next year.

In entering Brazil, Wal-Mart has had its difficulties. Its five Sao Paulo stores have racked up $30.2 million in net losses from May 1995 to June 1996. "Some of our [Brazilian] stores will have an operational profit by year's end. We initially forecasted that it would take three years [until 1998] for the group to begin registering profits in Brazil," Martin said in local published reports.