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Wal-Mart to shift Sam's Club strategy

Springdale, AR — Sam's Club will focus on a return to basics, according to Kevin Turner, the division's new president and ceo. That will necessarily involve more attention to the needs of small business customers and being the low-cost operator.

The plans, outlined during its annual analysts meeting here, were revealed a day after the company warned September comp-store sales would come in below forecast.

"Sam's is not in the assortment business," he told the analysts. "We're going to be aggressive item merchants."

Wal-Mart also announced expansion plans for next year that will shatter even its own growth records, adding 48 million square feet of retail space — an 8 percent increase.

Domestically, the company plans to open as many as 55 new discount stores and 210 new supercenters. At least 40 Sam's Clubs are on the board, along with 120 international units.

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