At its analysts meeting today, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) talked up its expansion into smaller stores, particularly its Neighborhood Market stores. Sales at the more than 200 Neighborhood Market locations were up 5% on a same-store basis, more than double the 2.2% same-store sales growth at the company’s large stores and supercenters.
The company has also opened 10 Express stores and plans to have a total of 500 Neighborhood Market Stores and 12 Express stores by the 2016 fiscal year. Considering the success of the new format stores, that doesn’t seem to be awfully aggressive.
The new, smaller format stores are taking aim both at convenience stores and drug stores. Both Express and Neighborhood Market stores include pharmacies, competing directly with the likes of Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) and CVS Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS).
Walmart has now recorded four straight quarters of growth after nine quarters of declines. The company’s early start to its holiday layaway program has already garnered $400 million worth of layaway merchandise, half last year’s total before the holiday shopping season even gets started. The company even eased up on some of the program’s requirements this year.
We’ve already noted today some labor troubles at Walmart, but the analysts’ day presentations overcame any downside. Shares have posted a new 52-week high today of $76.73 and are trading now at $76.64. The prior range was $54.48 to $75.55.
Sponsored: Tips for Investing
A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.