US retailer Walmart is planning to launch 500 new outlets in China within five to seven years.
The expansion will more than double the firm’s presence in the territory in time for China to emerge as the world’s biggest grocery market come 2023. The move comes in the face of an economic slowdown as China grapples with the US trade war and slow growth.
In spite of the setback, Chinese consumers are still buying from Walmart, which experienced 6.3-per-cent year-on-year growth in the last quarter. Its global growth during the period was just 2.5 per cent.
“We will continue to collaborate with partners and policymakers in China to accelerate our expansion,” Walmart China senior VP James Ku told CNN Business.
The firm will also remodel more than 200 of its stores in China in the coming years, including installing self-service checkouts using facial recognition technology.
Walmart China has operated for more than 20 years.