9 pm: 63°FPartly Cloudy

11 pm: 55°FPartly Cloudy

1 am: 52°FPartly Cloudy

3 am: 50°FPartly Cloudy

More Weather

Wal-Mart seeks to tether small stores to big ones

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open more small stores as it links them to its supercenters, which will serve as mini-warehouses for their smaller cousins.

The plans, announced at the retailer's annual investor meeting, come as the world's largest retailer faces increasing pressure from online retailers like Amazon.com as well as dollar stores, which have been rapidly adding locations and winning customers with low prices and convenience.

Wal-Mart expects to roll out the new distribution scheme in the first of three markets in March, though it declined to say where. It is testing some of the aspects of the plan in areas like Gentry, Ark., where it operates a Wal-Mart Express store, which is one-tenth the size of a typical supercenter.

The retailer operates more than 4,000 stores in the U.S.

In the short term, Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., is trying to rev up business at its namesake stores in the U.S., which has been weakening because of an uncertain economy.

The company said that heading into the holiday shopping season it's trying to make sure the the right inventory is in stock and is being more aggressive about discounting across the store.

U.S. Wal-Mart stores, which account for 59 percent of the company's total sales, reported a 0.3 percent decline in revenue at stores open at least a year in the second quarter. That marked the second straight quarter of declines in a key revenue figure after six consecutive quarters of increases. Revenue at stores open at least a year is considered an important measure of a retailer's performance because it removes the effect of adding stores.

Adding in Sam's Club and international stores, revenue at stores open at least a year was flat compared with a year ago. It rose 1.7 percent at Sam's Club.

(u'addcomment',)

Comments

The Herald-Dispatch welcomes your comments on this article, but please be civil. Avoid profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, accusations of criminal activity, name-calling or insults to the other posters. Herald-dispatch.com does not control or monitor comments as they are posted, but if you find a comment offensive or uncivil, hover your mouse over the comment and click the X that appears in the upper right of the comment. If you do not want your comment to post to your personal Facebook page, uncheck the box below the comment.