Wal-Mart Slowing New Growth

As part of its growth plan, Wal-Mart’s U.S. division plans to spend more on remodeling existing stores and less on opening new ones, according to MarketWatch.com.

Capital spending for Wal-Mart’s U.S. presence is expected to drop by about a third to $5.8 billion to $6.4 billion for 2009, down from $9.1 billion in 2008, Eduardo Castro-Wright, head of Wal-Mart Stores U.S., said at the company’s investor and analyst meeting.

But while spending for new stores will decline, the company said it’s planning to at least double spending on remodels next year.

“Remodels are taking center stage here,” Castro-Wright said. Wal-Mart has outpaced rival low-price retailers competing for consumers who have been pressured through most of the year by soaring food and fuel costs.

Wal-Mart executives said the company is aiming to maintain price leadership heading into the holidays, while also ensuring its stores are clean and offer good customer service.

The stores have widened aisles, lowered shelves and changed the layout to make it easier to shop.

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