Walmart plans to add more than 150 large-format stores across the U.S.

Business

An exterior view of a closing Walmart store in Everett. A Walmart store in Everett, Washington, announced its closure and is currently in a liquidation sale. With this, a lot of Walmart employees have lost their jobs.
Chin Hei Leung | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Walmart already has a huge U.S. footprint. But the retail giant sees room to get even bigger.

The company plans to build or convert more than 150 large-format stores over the next five years, it said Wednesday. Some of the locations will be expanded from a smaller location into a Supercenter with a full range of groceries and merchandise, but the majority will be new stores, Josh Havens, a company spokesman said.

Walmart declined to say how much the new stores will cost and where they will be located. The company already has more than 4,600 stores across the country, and nearly 600 Sam’s Club warehouses.

The big-box retailer is the largest private employer in the U.S. with about 1.6 million employees. About 90% of the U.S. population already lives with 10 miles of a Walmart store. With the expansion, Walmart is signaling that it sees its brick-and-mortar locations as a key part of the future, despite heightened competition with online players like Amazon and Shein, and its own push for growth in online sales and its third-party marketplace.

Walmart is also building on its relative strength compared to other retailers, which have taken a bigger hit from U.S. consumers pulling back on discretionary merchandise. As the nation’s largest grocer by revenue and a well-known discounter, Walmart has better weathered inflation and even attracted more upper-income households to its stores.

Its stock hit an all-time high last year, and the company on Tuesday announced a three-for-one stock split.

In a post on the company’s website on Wednesday, Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said the retailer plans to start 12 new store projects this year and will convert one of its smaller locations into a Walmart Supercenter. The move to open or expand locations is in addition to the company’s plans to renovate other stores, he added.

He said the new stores will reflect Walmart’s more modern look, which it is rolling out more broadly. The “store of the future” design has a sleeker layout that emphasizes the retailer’s more fashion-forward apparel brands, more technology like scannable QR codes and sharper signage.

New stores will also have more sustainability features, such as energy-efficient lighting, he said.

Walmart’s store expansion was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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