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Wal-Mart growing globally

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores has plans to add 55 million square feet of new space at a cost of $14 billion, executives said during the company’s presentation on Wal-Mart International at the Merrill Lynch Retailing Leaders conference.

According to Jay Fitzsimmons, senior vice president of finance and treasurer, Wal-Mart International currently has a 28.9 percent growth rate, expanding from 10 stores outside the United States in 1993 to 1,603 international stores in 2005. Currently, he said Wal-Mart has 5,708 total stores around the world, 3,702 of them in this country.

"We believe that there are a number of countries we currently operate in where we can grow tremendously," added Fitzsimmons, citing the examples of Brazil and China . Wal-Mart only operates 44 stores in China , but plans to dramatically grow this number.

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