Wal Mart Heads For Asia

After invading Mexico and Canada and recently announcing plans to establish outlets in Argentina and Brazil, Wal-Mart Stores seems poised to extend its reach into Asia. Former employees of the world's No.1 retailer are working with Thailand's Ek-Chia Distribution--which is part of the powerful Charoen Pokphand Group conglomerate--to develop a chain of discount stores throughout Thailand. Joseph Hendricks, a former Wal-Mart executive who is now vice-president for business development at Ek-Chia, says that Wal-Mart is training the company's managers in American retailing techniques. A source close to Wal-Mart says the giant retailer is also considering forming a joint venture with CP Group that would operate stores in China and Hong Kong. Wal-Mart executives couldn't be reached.