Wal-Mart announces new growth plan and Web site

Wal-Mart recently announced an aggressive expansion and remodeling campaign that will go into effect beginning in 2001. Meanwhile, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer has relaunched its Web site after a one-month hiatus.

Wal-Mart's expansion and remodeling project will include approximately 180 supercenters and 40 discount stores in the United States. The retailer will also double the number of stores in its neighborhood market chain by adding 15 to 20 stores, and will open 25 new Sam's Club units.

At the same time, the company is relocating or expanding an estimated 25 other Sam's Clubs. In addition, Wal-Mart International is opening more than 100 stores and Sam's Clubs in countries the retailer already operates.

The company's Internet division, Wal-mart.com, redesigned its Web site for the second time this year. The site was back up Nov. 1. The new site contains the same number of items as the previous site, but Wal-Mart has changed the character of the inventory. Items such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies have been removed while toys, sporting goods and electronics have been broadened. In addition, Wal-Mart has cut its travel services program and replaced it with a direct link to Southwest Airlines

Wal-Mart has drawn complaints in the past for its Web site. Users of the site complained that when they typed in a word for a specific search the search engine would bring up an unrelated item or an error message.

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