Wal-Mart President Foresees $100 Billion Annual Sales

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The $100 billion annual sales goal that once seemed a farfetched dream of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton now looks "very achievable," company President David Glass said Monday.

With projected 1994 revenues of about $84 billion and relentless expansion at home and abroad, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. appears certain to fulfill the prediction the late Walton made a few years ago, said Glass, also chief executive officer for the Bentonville, Ark.-based company.

"None of us ever intended the company to become as large as it did," Glass said. "It just happened."

Glass outlined Wal-Mart's growth plans at a meeting of about 50 Midwestern business writers and editors sponsored by The Associated Press.

He also discussed image problems associated with that expansion, which "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau recently spoofed in a series of cartoon strips, and predicted a settlement of the major league baseball players' strike before spring training.

"It just doesn't make sense not to play," said Glass, also chairman of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. "I find it difficult to believe the camps will not open on time."

As for Wal-Mart, Glass said the giant discount chain is pushing ahead with "10 or 11" stores in Brazil and Argentina. The company views South America as its next great opportunity and expects the North American Free Trade Agreement eventually will be extended there, Glass said.

The company also is working to get Sam's Clubs, its chain of membership merchandise stores, into Hong Kong and China, Glass said.

Trudeau lampooned Wal-Mart's growth last week in a series of strips that had a glib Wal-Mart advance man in small-town Oklahoma. The outsider told small merchants afraid of being put out of business they could sell knickknacks or local arts and crafts.

Wal-Mart has learned to shrug off such criticism, Glass said. …