With many retailers eyeing what they are terming a “retail apocalypse” on the horizon, that is expected to leave no big chain box store unaffected, some retailers see the glass as still half full, despite the latest indications of a downward trend.
Walmart sees an opportunity to expand its footprint, and as such, announced this past week that is has chosen to double down on its presence in China, with significant plans of opening up to 500 new stores there in the next estimated five to seven years.
The announcement came right after Walmart made the bold move in June to start putting more funding into their China division, to the tune of $1 billion. The step was admittedly a bold one, but it paid off seeing that Walmart’s China sales ramped up 6.3 percent in the last quarter. Compared to the same quarter sales last year, the move proved to be a smart one.
The plan that Walmart has in place is to hone in on their grocery and online shopping, both of which are aiding to the retailer’s continued upward growth within China. In a report by CNBC, the senior vice president for Walmart China, James Ku offered that Walmart would be taking advantage of:
“…multi-format strategies to bring customers freshness, value, and convenience.”
The expansion planned by Walmart comes at the time that the China economy has shown a cooling down. The country is also feeling the effects of a somewhat slumped growth due to the ongoing trade wars with the US.
Last quarter saw the lowest drop in the countries GDP in almost three decades. AS a result, Beijing has taken measures and is instigating stimulus measures in an attempt to jump-start the economy of the nation.
Walmart has held a presence in China for nearly 20 years. As of January of this year, the big-box retailer has an estimated 443 stores currently operating in China.