In October, Wal-Mart said it was shifting its focus away from new stores, big or small, and was going in a completely new direction. While it had opened 161 small-format stores last year, it opened 70 of them this year, and just 20 are planned for next year. Supercenter construction would fall to only 35 new stores in fiscal 2018.
Yet despite the dramatic cutback in new store openings, Wal-Mart's capital expenditure budget is hardly being reduced at all, falling from $11.5 billion last year to $11 billion this year, and then holding steady at that level next year. So, if the retailer isn't building very many new stores, but it's essentially spending the same amount of money, where is it all going?. . . more