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Walmart’s Plans: Cut Store Openings, Focus Online

Walmart corporate has big plans to grow its e-commerce presence. Yet at the same time, it plans to reduce brick-and-mortar store openings by nearly 60 percent year over year.

The company is increasingly investing in growing its online sales. This is demonstrated by its recent $3 billion deal to purchase Jet.com. Jet.com is an online company that launched in July 2015. As of August, Jet.com was selling 12 million products from more than 2,400 retailers.

This investment in e-commerce is also visible as the company is “on track to double the number of giant warehouses dedicated to online sales to 10 by the end of 2016,” Justen Traweek, vice president of e-commerce supply chain and fulfillment, shares with Reuters.

“The company will rely more on comp sales and e-commerce growth to drive the top line and plans to slow new-store openings, while increasing investments in e-commerce, technology, store remodels and other customer initiatives,” the massive big-box retailer reports.

This fiscal year, the company plans to open 130 stores total. Then it projects it will open only 55 stores in the coming year. Walmart’s change in focus was highlighted at an investor meeting earlier this month.

“This company over time will look like an e-commerce company,” CEO Doug McMillon recently told investors, according to Fortune magazine.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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