Wal-Mart Stores said Friday it will moderate the growth of its supercenter stores "a little bit," sending shares of the world's largest retailer up about 4%.
Speaking at Wal-Mart's annual shareholders meeting, Chief Executive Lee Scott said the company needs to make some changes in areas where it is underperforming.
"In the U.S., we have to improve in our merchandising areas," Scott said. "We've talked about home, we've talked about apparel...We must improve."
As part of this effort, Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe said Wal-Mart will open 190 to 200 supercenters this fiscal year, down from the company's previous view of 265 to 270 stores.
Starting next fiscal year, the company expects to open 170 supercenters annually, Schoewe said.
Analysts and investors have pushed for the retailer to rein in U.S. expansion plans as it works to improve sales growth in its home market.