HONG KONG May 20 The China operating arm of
U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Tuesday it
planned to invest 580 million yuan ($92.99 million) to remodel
55 existing stores in China this year to enhance store
operations and optimize customer experience.
Wal-Mart China also said it will open about 30 high-quality
stores and additional distribution centers in China this year as
part of its three-year growth plan announced last October.
China is key to Wal-Mart's international ambitions but it
has stumbled in a market where consumers value safe and
authentic food over the low prices for which the retailer is
The announcement comes almost a month after Wal-Mart
appointed a new chief executive for the China region, where the
world's largest retailer is battling stiff competition from
local rivals. Sean Clarke, current chief operating officer in
China, will take over the China CEO role from June 1.
The U.S. retailer, which operates about 400 units in China,
said last October that it would open up to 110 facilities in the
country between 2014 and 2016 and was looking to close 15-30
others over the next 18 months as part of a rationalization
process in the country.
Its local rival, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, said in
March it would continue to maintain steady new store expansion
after China's top hypermarket operator posted a 15.2 percent
rise in 2013 net profit with an expanding store network helping
it shrug off an economic slowdown.
($1 = 6.2374 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Matt Driskill)