Wal-Mart down grades its spending

Slower sales at existing stores hinder expansion plans.
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Wal-Mart said it plans lower capital expenditure than previously forecasted for its current fiscal year.

The firm said its current capital spending is between $14.7 billion and $15.4 billion compared to its June forecast of $15.5 billion, when it said it would open fewer super centres to try and boost sales at existing stores.

Analysts and investors have pushed Wal-Mart to rein in its expansion plans as sales at existing stores have slowed.

Comparable sales at US stores for the first eight months were up 1.5 per cent compared to 2.6 per cent a year earlier.

Wal-Mart forecasts its capital expenditures for 2009 and 2010 will be between $13.5 billion and $15.2 billion.

It also expects an increase in square footage by about six per cent for the current fiscal year followed by five to six per cent for the fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

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