Walmart is once again making moves to mark China as one of its international territories. This week, news source The Drum revealed that the grocery giant plans to open 40 Sam’s Club stores in China by 2020, with 17 slated for 2019. Walmart currently operates 23 Sam's Club stores in China.
Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart, told news source China Daily last week that “China is still one of the most important markets” for Walmart. He also revealed that technology will continue to be one of the retailer’s main focuses as it expands its footprint in the massive market.
The news source also reported that Sam’s Club is gaining traction in China, which could be a positive reflection of Walmart's integration of AI in its online and brick-and-mortar store locations.
Last year, Walmart opened 33 new stores in China, including four Sam’s Club, 21 hypermarkets, and eight small-format stores. The retailer also launched a new next-gen grocery format, began testing Walmart To Go on the DL (as we reported on our sister site ANUK), strengthened its partnership with JD.com, and invested $500 million into a rising online grocer—all in China.
Will this latest move mobilize Walmart’s competitors to dig deeper into international markets as well? And how will Walmart’s China expansion affect its Stateside business? Deli Market News will continue to report.