Report: Wal-Mart to Adopt New Custom-Fit Retail Approach

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world's biggest retailer, is trying to boost sluggish sales gains by dropping its one-size-fits-all approach to retailing, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Instead of stocking mostly the same products, the retailer is custom-fitting its merchandise to appeal to demographic groups, the Journal said.

Wal-Mart is custom-fitting its merchandise assortment to reflect each of six demographic groups — African-Americans, the affluent, empty-nesters, Hispanics, suburbanites and rural residents, the newspaper said.

The Journal cites Eduardo Castro-Wright, chief executive of the Wal-Mart's U.S. stores and architect of the new approach. The newspaper said Castro-Wright is a director of Dow Jones & Co Inc. (DJ), publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

Wal-Mart's attempt to divide its roughly 3,400 U.S. stores into six different models is a big shift for a company that grew on the strength of standardization, The Journal said.

Wal Mart was not immediately available for comment.