While many brick-and-mortar stores such as Macy’s and American Apparel are closing doors due to financial troubles, Walmart is expanding at a significant rate. The world’s largest retailer is planning on opening 59 new stores throughout the country this year, which should bring in 10,000 new jobs by the end of 2017. These are astronomical numbers when you consider how online-focused our economy has been the last few years.
The company is planning on $6.8 billion in capital investments for this coming fiscal year (beginning February 1), which will include the construction of new buildings, the remodeling and renovating of current ones and the expansion of their many online services. Walmart expects another 24,000 jobs to be added to their construction team due to the expansion.
“Walmart is investing to better serve customers,” said Dan Bartlett, Walmart executive vice president for corporate affairs. “With a presence in thousands of communities and a vast supplier network, we know we play an important role in supporting and creating American jobs. Our 2017 plans to grow our business–and our support for innovation in the textile industry–will have a meaningful impact across the country.”
Walmart currently has more than 11,000 stores in 28 countries and an ever-growing online presence, both making a profit and exceeding Wall Street’s expectations for e-commerce sales. Last month, Walmart reported that it will be expanding their presence in Mexico, also adding 10,000 jobs south of the border. It currently employees around 2.4 million people worldwide.
These expansions show that Walmart is one of the few retailers that can still make money (and lots of it) from walk-in stores. Yet their ability to become a major player in the online game is what is really keeping them going. With ShippingPass, Walmart now offers free, two-day shipping on all items, all at an annual cost of $49. This is akin to Amazon Prime, only cheaper and with fewer frills. The company also lets customers order groceries online and offers curbside pickup, making grocery shopping less time consuming and less hectic.
Walmart isn’t alone. Last week Amazon announced that it will be adding 100,000 jobs across the United States, over the next 18 months.