Wal-Mart seeks to tether small stores to big ones
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
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 counterparts.
The plans were announced at the retailer's annual investor meeting, in response to 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.
The retailer operates more than 4,000 stores in the United States.
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.
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.
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