SHANGHAI Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) plans to open 100 more stores in China and create 18,000 jobs there over the next three years, it said on Friday, in a bid to boost its presence in China's booming but highly competitive hypermarket sector.
Wal-Mart, which has 370 stores and over 100,000 employees in China, was a pioneer in the market, but now faces much greater competition from Britain's Tesco Plc (TSCO.L), Germany's Metro AG (MEOG.DE), France's Carrefour (CARR.PA) and domestic firms, as well as a slowing economy.
China's hypermarket sector, in which retail sales reached 506.9 billion yuan ($81 billion) last year according to Euromonitor, includes the world's three largest retailers in Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco, and domestic brands led by Sun Art Retail Group (6808.HK).
($1 = 6.2417 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)