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Walmart to Expand in China

Plans 110 new stores in three years

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Walmart Stores Inc. (Bentonville, Ark.) has said it plans to open as many as 110 stores over three years in China.

The retail giant will also close up to 30 underperforming stores there as it seeks to overhaul its Chinese business amid growing competition.

“China presents one of the biggest opportunities for us around the world to grow our stores and clubs, so it’s really important,” Doug McMillon, president of Walmart’s international business, told Bloomberg Television.

Competition in the Chinese hypermarket business has been intensifying, making it more difficult for Walmart to maintain its low prices. Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. (Hong Kong), China’s largest hypermarket operator, owns 14 percent of the market and 284 stores in 26 of China’s 31 provinces and municipalities. China Resources Enterprise Ltd. (Hong Kong) operates 4400 stores in the country.

Tesco Plc (Cheshunt, UK) recently pulled out of the market, mergits its more than 130 stores into a joint venture with China Resources.

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