BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said yesterday that it will open about 185 stores in the fiscal year beginning Feb. 1 in a plan to boost merchandise and food sales.
The company said the openings will include 120 to 125 supercenters, 50 discount stores and about 10 Sam's Clubs stores. The world's largest retailer now has 2,771 stores.
Wal-Mart said about 90 of the supercenters would be expansions or relocations of its discount stores. Supercenters combine Wal-Mart's traditional discount stores with grocery stores. Sam's Clubs sell in bulk to members, such as small businesses.
"Wal-Mart is looking for cross-shopping opportunities that provide additional opportunities for profit with its supercenters," John Hughes, a Dain Bosworth Inc. analyst, said yesterday.
Internationally, Wal-Mart will develop 50 to 60 stores, which are planned for Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Wal-Mart said the expansion will add about 26 million square feet of retail space.
To support the growth, the retailer said, it also plans to open one general merchandise and two food distribution centers in the next fiscal year. The company didn't specify sites for the distribution centers.
As of Sept. 30, Wal-Mart had 1,922 discount stores, 407 supercenters and 442 Sam's Clubs in the United States.
Wal-Mart shares fell 31.25 cents to $36.5625 yesterday.
Pub Date: 10/08/97