Wal-Mart Plans Growth in Established Markets

Wal-Mart Stores said it plans to become more aggressive on new-store growth in some of its stronger, more established markets to prevent competitors from impacting its market shares there.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores [4] here said Wednesday it plans to become more aggressive on new-store growth in some of its stronger, more established markets to prevent competitors from impacting its market shares there.

Speaking at the company's annual meeting for the investment community, Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer for U.S. stores, said the company plans to open new stores in areas in which it already has medium to high market-shares, including Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge and Dallas-Fort Worth.

"The choice is to cannibalize ourselves or get eaten up by someone else, and we've determined we need to build a competitive number of stores in some of our strong markets to retain our share," Simon said.

As an example he cited the Dallas-Fort Worth market, "[where] we had a great market share, but when we slowed growth to avoid self-cannibalization, the competition grew by 300 openings."

The company said its capital spending budget in each of the next two years will be $13 billion to $14 billion, compared with $12.7 billion in fiscal 2011.

Walmart said it plans to open approximately 120 large-format stores in fiscal 2012 and 130 to 135 in 2013 compared with 153 this year; between 25 and 30 medium and small format stores next year and 80 to 100 more in 2013, compared with one this year; and 8 to 10 Sam's Clubs next year and 10 to 15 more in 2013 compared with nine this year.