(Yicai Global) Jan. 21 -- Sam's Club, Walmart's membership-only retail warehouse chain, aims to expand its reach in China to 40 stores by 2020 from 23 at present.
The company recently opened the doors of its first location in Shanghai's Pudong district, online news outlet Jiemian News reported Sam's Club China President Andrew Miles as saying. The store boasts a wine-tasting area along with other facilities to boost customer experiences in-store.
The firm will open a second Sam's Club in the city's Qingpu district in June this year. The company chose Qingpu due to the area's continuous expansion and potential for future growth, Miles said.
Sam's Club is also considering other options in Shanghai and is in contact with multiple real estate developers on possible opportunities, Miles said. The company is also looking closely at its plans in China due to the imminent market entry of US rival Costco, he added.
Costco China Investment inked an agreement with Kangqiao Group in Pudong last May to set up its China headquarters there. Its first flagship retail store will also be located in Pudong's Kangqiao county.
Sam's Club is also increasingly relying on its online business while expanding physical stores.
"Some 95 percent of new members join via WeChat and very few of them use physical membership cards," said Chen Zhiyu, senior vice president at Sam's Club China, adding that its overall sales grew 8 percent last year while e-commerce revenue doubled.
Editor: William Clegg