Wal-Mart China said Wednesday it will open at least five new Sam's Club stores in east China's Jiangsu Province and to increase investment in the next three years to tap the growing local economy.
The Wal-Mart U.S. giant yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Commerce on the new stores.
The Sam's Club Nanjing store, the third in the province, opened for trial operation yesterday.
Sam's Club now operates 17 stores in 14 cities and charges a membership fee of 260 yuan ($39) per year which allows consumers access to the hypermarket's selected goods as well as online shopping.
The U.S.-headquartered retailer aims to have a total of eight Sam's Club stores in Jiangsu by 2020, although it's still a small fraction of Walmart's 800 members-only stores worldwide.
Jiangsu's strong development "drives continuous growth of the consumption market, especially the middle and high-end retail market which has great potential," Andrew Miles, president of Sam's Club China, said in a statement.
He added "we plan to add one Club each in Nantong and Suzhou next year."