Walmart maintains expansion pace

Total capital expenditures slightly will increase next year at Walmart to a range of $13.5 billion to $14.5 billion, compared with the estimated $13 billion to $14 billion the company is on track to spend during the current fiscal year, the company announced late Wednesday at the conclusion of its 17th annual meeting for the investment community.

Expenditures for the U.S. operations will hold steady at around $7.5 billion to $8 billion as the company adds about 11 million sq. ft. of selling space while the $1 billion allocated to Sam’s Club also is comparable with the prior year and will result in the addition of about 500,000 sq. ft. The international division, where two international acquisitions currently are pending in the United Kingdom and South Africa, gets a boost of about $500 million as spending there is expected to total between $4 billion and $4.5 billion. Although that amount is about half of what will be spent domestically, forecast international square footage growth of 23 million to 24 million is more than twice that of the U.S.

Looking at the U.S, Walmart plans to add about 155 to 165 new supercenters, two thirds of which will be relocations of existing units in addition to 30 to 40 smaller format stores. Seven to 12 new Sam’s Clubs will be added.