Starting in its next fiscal year, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) plans to open 100 new stores in China over the next three years, the company announced last week. The stores will consist of the company's flagship brand and outlets of its bulk retailer Sam's Club.
The company employs 100,000 associates in China and plans to add 18,000 jobs to support the store growth. It had 382 stores in China as of Sept. 30.
Although Chinese GDP growth has been slowing of late, its retail sector is hotly contested. Wal-Mart is currently the No. 2 retail chain in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The planned expansion represents a slowdown from Wal-Mart's investment on the Chinese market in recent years, reported the WSJ. Previously, it had been opening 50-60 stores every year; the new plan averages 30-35 new outlets annually.