Walmart to open 500 new stores, depots across the country.

James Ku, senior vice-president of Realty, Walmart China, speaks in Shenzhen on the retailer's expansion plan in China. (Courtesy: China Daily)

Walmart China has plans to accelerate its expansion by opening more than 500 new stores and "depots" (smaller warehouses) in next five to seven years and updating 200 existing stores in three years, the company's top executive said.

James Ku, senior vice-president of Realty, Walmart China, said the company was confident about the Chinese market and will continue to enhance its investment.

The new stores will focus on smaller formats including hypermarkets in commercial properties, supermarkets serving community complexes as well as depot warehouses for online shoppers.

Images of newly renovated Walmart's hypermarket in China.
(Courtesy: China Daily)

Walmart China operates more than 50 depot warehouses in China to enhance the shoppers' online-and-offline experience. The retailer is now running eight community-based supermarkets in Guangdong province, which has been tested for about a year.

The smaller and community-based format — covering 30,000 to 40,000 residents within a radius of 500 meters— has shown bright result, according to Ku, a growth of 20 percent in terms of revenue and the number of visitors in the third quarter, if compared with that of the first quarter this year.

The company is also eyeing to quickly expand its map for Sam's Club by operating or building 45 clubs by 2022 and more in the future. Growth in fresh food and omni-shopping experience has propelled the double-digit comp growth of Sam's Club.
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