Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, plans to open 150 new stores, including converting some smaller locations into supercenters, over the next five years, the company said Wednesday.
Over the next 12 months, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said it will also remodel 650 stores with “improved layouts” as part of a $500 million investment announced last year to modernize the big-box chain’s 4,700 US outposts.
Walmart’s investment in brick-and-mortar locations marks a pivot after the company began slowing new store openings in 2016 to compete with online giant Amazon, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“Walmart gained a decent amount of market share over the past couple of years, especially as inflation raged and they got a higher-end customer,” Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said.
The company hasn’t opened a new store since 2021 — when it added locations in Miami, Ceres, Calif., and Yaphank, NY, a spokesman told The Post on Wednesday.
Despite a rash of store closures in big cities, including Target’s headline-making announcement in September that it was closing nine stores because of retail crime, in-store shopping is making a comeback.
Walmart said the first two remodeled stores, both Neighborhood Markets, are set to open this spring in Atlanta and Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
The company said it is also finalizing construction plans on 12 new projects that will start this year, including converting one of its smaller stores into a supercenter.
“Consumers are still interested in coming to stores,” Yarbrough said. “And when stores are remodeled, retailers can see a nice sales lift of up to 8% at those locations.”
Nationwide, store openings exceeded closures in 2022 and 2023, according to Coresight Research.
Target opened 21 new stores last year, the company said last week in a statement, adding that “we’ve set an ambitious pace moving into 2024.”
Target said it will be opening more large format stores as well, but it didn’t disclose how many. It also remodeled over 160 stores last year, the Minneapolis, Minn.-based company said.