The chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, told industry analysts not to expect the company's phenomenal growth to slow anytime soon.
"People ask me, `Can Wal-Mart continue to grow? Can it continue to add 8 percent new square feet of stores per year?' Well, we don't see a change in being able to accomplish those kinds of numbers," chief executive Lee Scott said Tuesday.
"Wal-Mart stores only have 3 percent of the formal market share, so there's no short-or mid-term limit on Wal-Mart's growth," Scott said.
The company plans to open as many as 195 new stores and replace or expand another 160 in the US next year.
Wal-Mart International, meanwhile, plans to open 100 to 110 new stores in existing markets and replace or expand 30 stores.
Wal-Mart maintains that it will post earnings per share from continuing operations during the third quarter of US$0.45 to US$0.47. Earnings are currently tracking in the middle of that range.
In his opening comments for Wal-Mart's analysts' meeting, Scott addressed concerns that the company, which started as a neighborhood five-and-dime, would become an unmanageable behemoth.
"We've learned that the disadvantages of size come without any work at all, but the advantages come with a great deal of work and coordination," Scott said.
Wal-Mart has long prided itself on being immune to nationwide economic downturns, but Scott said the deflationary retail environment will be a challenge.
"This bagless vacuum cleaner went from US$98.88 to US$68.82 in two years," he said. "But the cost of moving the product is absolutely more expensive than it was two years ago. That puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us to increase productivity at the store level."
John Menzer, president of the international division, said deflation in Asia "continues to be a threat," while German and Japa-nese consumer confidence is suffering from price increases.
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
NO SIGN OF WAR: Only if Taiwanese showed determination to defend the nation would others be willing to help in the event of a Chinese attack, the premier said Should China launch a war against Taiwan, the military would fight to the last standing person, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday, adding that the nation has fully fleshed-out defense strategies. “Beijing has continued its acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs that it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Yen said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Asked how long Taiwan could withstand an attack from China, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said: “Taiwan will not fall.” Any belligerent force that initiates acts of war would pay a heavy price, and so too would Beijing,
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
MOTHERLAND? Taiwanese who take part in China’s National Day celebrations could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 if found to have contravened Taiwanese laws The Ministry of Culture yesterday cautioned China-based Taiwanese artists against breaching Taiwanese law by taking part in China’s National Day celebrations. The ministry issued the statement following media reports that Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) is to sing a popular Chinese patriotic song titled My Motherland (我的祖國), and Angela Chang (張韶涵) is to sing Protect (守護) with Chinese entertainers at an event to mark China’s National Day on Thursday. The Mainland Affairs Council is investigating whether such behavior contravenes regulations in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the ministry said. If the behavior involves matters