In a note posted Wednesday on its website, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said the company is “finalizing construction plans” on 12 new stores it aims to start building this year. Neighborhood Markets in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and Atlanta will be the first locations to open later this spring as part of Walmart’s expansion initiative, according to Grocery Dive web daily.
After years of breakneck expansion, Walmart’s store growth has slowed in recent years as it has focused more on investing in its existing locations. The company last opened a supercenter nearly two years ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Walmart said its expansion efforts will benefit communities by creating tens of thousands of jobs. Hundreds of jobs will become available upon each store’s opening and positions come with perks such as tuition-free college, flexible scheduling, and competitive paid time off.
The newly opened and remodeled locations are also more sustainable than previous builds, with energy-efficient equipment and lighting, lower-impact refrigerants, and more, according to the announcement. Walmart also noted it is currently developing a coast-to-coast network of affordable electrical vehicle fast charging stations for its customers.
WALMART BY THE NUMBERS
Walmart’s grocery business has helped power the retailer’s sales and profits. During its third quarter of the fiscal year 2024, Walmart saw mid-single-digit growth in grocery with CFO John David Rainey telling investors during the earnings call in November that the category continues to post “strong” share gains in both units and dollars for the retailer.
Industry experts anticipate Walmart growing significantly in 2024, says Grocery Dive. Jordan Berke, a former Walmart e-commerce executive founder and CEO of Tomorrow Retail Consulting, said in a recent interview that he expects the retailer to focus heavily on its express delivery service as well as its food and consumables categories.