Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is looking to gain a foothold in mainland Europe, according to The Independent on Sunday.
Yesterday (29 January) the newspaper reported that Steuart Walton, the 30-year-old grandson of company founder Sam Walton, is in London as part of plans to expand into the continent.
Citing a source “close to Wal-Mart”, the report claimed Walton is keenly watching the problems at rival Carrefour with the aim of snapping up stores if the French giant is forced to dispose of sites.
A spokesperson from Wal-Mart said: “The story in the Independent is nothing more than speculation dressed up as fact. Steuart is currently on secondment in the UK as part of his induction into the Walmart business.
“Wal-Mart has a number of sourcing and operational offices in many locations across the world, and wherever possible we give colleagues and associates the opportunity to work in them to widen their knowledge of our business.”
In 1996 Wal-Mart bought Wertkauf, a German chain, but announced in 2006 it would sell the stores.