Wal-Mart puts the brakes on

A Wal-Mart store sign in Illinois

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Wal-Mart shares got a boost because the company said it's gonna take it easy on the growth next year. Sam Eaton reports.


SAM EATON: Wal-Mart opened 340 new stores last year. But it expects to open just over 300 in the coming fiscal year. Retail analyst Richard Hastings says it's all part of a well-laid plan.
RICHARD HASTINGS: Wal-Mart is not revising its growth story in North America because there's anything wrong with the business. It's just they have to begin to think about a different store format, smaller size, and enter into much more complicated, densely-populated areas.

In other words, urban areas, where land is more expensive and consumers have been flocking to hipper rivals like Target.

Target's growth in sales has outpaced Wal-Mart by a factor of five.

But Hastings says that's all relative when you consider Wal-Mart's scale. The retail giant still adds $200 million in additional sales to its bottom line every month.

In Los Angeles, I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

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