Walmart will continue to increase its investment in Guangdong Province, as it plans to add 100 new stores in the province over the next five years, which includes Sam’s Clubs, Walmart supermarkets and small-format Walmart stores.
“Guangdong is the trailblazer of reform and opening up, the headquarters of Walmart China, and an important market for us. We are very optimistic about the economic development and potential of Guangdong,” said Tan Wern-Yuan, president and CEO of Walmart China.
Walmart will also step up its imported goods procurement and retail innovations in the province.
Walmart’s investment plan in Guangdong has made extensive progress since the U.S. retail giant signed an agreement for strategic cooperation on its business expansion with the province in 2017, according to the company.
The Walmart South China Fresh Food Distribution Center, which opened in Dongguan City this March, serves more than 100 Walmart stores and can ship up to 165,000 boxes per day.
The facility represents Walmart’s largest investment in China since it entered the market 23 years ago, with an investment exceeding 700 million yuan (US$99.41 million).
The retailer also announced the opening of its first small-format store, about one-10th the size of a regular Walmart hypermarket, in Shenzhen last year, in a bid to fuel a tightly integrated online-offline operation.
It launched a new service via a mini-program within WeChat in Guangdong this year, which enables customers to make orders on their mobile phone and get delivery in as little time as an hour.
The U.S. retailer entered the Chinese market in 1996 and opened its first Walmart supermarket in Shenzhen.