retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports that Walmart told analysts yesterday that "it plans to add roughly the same amount of store space in fiscal 2014 as it has planned for fiscal 2013, and will still open more supercenters than smaller stores in the United States, its largest market ... Walmart plans to more than double the number of its Neighborhood Market grocery stores in the United States by fiscal 2016."

The story goes on: "Wal-Mart still plans to open more stores around the world, but, as it said earlier this year, will slow down store openings in Brazil, China and Mexico. In Brazil and China, Wal-Mart has said that it wants to work on making improvements in its hundreds of stores. Meanwhile, the store approval process in Mexico, where its local affiliate has more than 2,000 locations, has slowed and become more complex in the wake of allegations that the company had bribed government officials to speed up approvals."

• The Los Angeles Times reports that Walmart is opening a hiring office for the controversial Neighborhood Market that it is building in the city's Chinatown neighborhood. The store has been opposed by local residents and organized labor, which have suggested that the store could hurt the character of the neighborhood.

According to the story, "The new market, set to open early next year at Cesar Chavez and Grand avenues, is one of 21 new Wal-Mart grocery stores announced in California. And on Wednesday, the discount giant said it plans to speed up the opening of its smaller-format grocery and express stores to compete better in cities ... Both models are designed to help Wal-Mart expand beyond suburban areas into densely populated urban cores and compete against dollar stores and convenience shops."
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