Walmart made ambitious plans to double its footprint in China by opening about 500 new stores and delivery depots in five to seven years. Now, recent reports surfaced that the behemoth plans to expand its members-only warehouse banner, Sam’s Club, in the expansive market, aiming to operate 100 stores by 2028. Currently, there are only 26 Sam's Club locations in China.
People familiar with the matter stated that the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company told its employees about the goal in a townhall meeting on Wednesday, as reported on Bloomberg. Unlike its no-frills, bulk-buying approach in the U.S., the Chinese version of Walmart’s banner sells higher-end, imported groceries to middle-class consumers. Revenue at Sam’s Clubs has grown at a faster pace than the company’s separate network of over 400 Walmart stores selling basic groceries locally.
Bloomberg further noted that, with Chinese consumers buying more staple products to cook at home and avoid restaurants following the current pandemic, Walmart saw a comparable-store sales increase of 11.7 percent in the Asian nation. Additionally, e-commerce sales rose by 160 percent for the quarter ended April 30 compared to the same period last year. Sam’s Club also saw double-digit sales growth in China in the same quarter, according to a company presentation.
How will this plan for growth affect Walmart’s Stateside strategy and market reach? Deli Market News will stay hot on the retailer’s trail and report.