Wal-Mart U.S., the largest unit of retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., WMT +1.70% said it is confident about its momentum heading into the holidays, as it outlined a strategy that includes more emphasis on smaller-format stores and more e-commerce.
For the first time since it began online sales in 2000, Wal-Mart broke out its e-commerce goal: Speaking at the annual analyst meeting, executives said the company targets world-wide online sales of $9 billion by fiscal 2014.
Last year, Wal-Mart U.S. had total sales of about $260 billion, including e-commerce, accounting for roughly three-fifths of the company's business.
Coming off a strong back-to-school period, Wal-Mart U.S. said it plans to increase its marketing, including featuring commercials on layaway, as well as on ad-matching guarantees and price comparison on a basket of goods against rival retailers.
Wal-Mart U.S. also will use Facebook FB -2.99% and other social media to drive sales, such as allowing its 22 million Facebook fans to vote on toys they'd like to see "rollbacks," or temporary discounts, on.
This week, Wal-Mart said it has begun to test same-day delivery services in some U.S. cities, one of many tactics being used to try to counter competition from Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -2.44%
Wal-Mart U.S.'s comparable sales for the first half have risen 2.4%, as it increased traffic and gained market share, said Bill Simon, head of Wal-Mart U.S.
Wal-Mart U.S. last year returned to comparable sales growth following two years of declines, helped by its strategy to broaden product assortment and add back products such as hunting and fishing equipment, and to lower prices.
In the U.S., Wal-Mart plans to add around 125 supercenters next fiscal year, at a similar pace to this year, and accelerate the rollout of its smaller-format stores—Neighborhood Market and Walmart Express—with a goal of adding 95 to 115 stores in fiscal 2014, up from an estimated 80 store openings this year and 27 last year.
Including about 170 existing Neighborhood Market stores at the start of the year, the company plans to end the fiscal year with more than 240 Neighborhood Markets, which usually measure less than 50,000 square feet in size. It plans to end the year with a total of 12 Walmart Express shops, averaging about 10,000 to 15,000 square feet in size and first opened last year.
All told, more than 500 Neighborhood Markets will be open by fiscal year 2016, generating more than $10 billion of sales...
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