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Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores plans to more than double its stores in China in the next five years to tap into the growing personal wealth of the country's 1.3 billion people, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The expansion will help the company broaden its reach beyond its current 84 stores across 46 Chinese cities into smaller cities, where competition is less fierce, the report said. Wal-Mart expects the growth to help it garner 20% of China's retail market.
Wal-Mart has opened 12 stores in mainland China so far this year, on track to beat 2006 openings of 15, the company said. The retailer sped up its expansion earlier this year by acquiring a 35% stake in China's Trust-Mart. Wal-Mart said at the time that the move may lead to its taking ownership control of Trust-Mart's more than 100 hypermarkets.