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  • Wal-Mart announced that it plans to open as many as 40 to 45 discount stores and between 240 and 250 supercenters in 2005 just in the US, and another 165 outside the US – all of which adds up to an eight percent increase in retail square footage over 2004’s levels.

    The company also said it plans to add, relocate or expand as many as 30 to 40 of its Sam's Club stores in the US, and will build as many as 30 new Neighborhood Market stores next year.

  • A piece in the Winnipeg Sun notes that as Wal-Mart faces far more pressure from union organizers in Canada than it does in the US – employees in one Quebec store have been certified while employees in another Quebec store, three stores in Saskatchewan and one in British Columbia all are seeking the same status – union organizers there are predicting that the retailer “will have union staff in every Canadian province within five years.”

KC's View:
The story about Wal-Mart’s growth plans made us think of an old proverb that goes something like, “While everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.”

The challenge for Wal-Mart, it seems to us, is to keep the culture intact even while growing at such unfathomable rates. There are those, of course, who would suggest that this battle already has been lost…