Ol'Roy one of many as Wal-Mart tackles the German market

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Not content with simply conquering the U.S. market, Ol' Roy is taking on Germany, too.

Wal-Mart Deutschland is stepping up its private-label presence, preparing to boost its current offerings from 32 to a reported 1,000. Ol' Roy is among the private-label brands already sold in the retailer's 43 German outlets, along with brands such as Special Kitty cat food and Great Value orange juice, cola, iced tea and tissues.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman in Germany said the retailer is "in the development phase" of additional private-label products but would not confirm the planned number of lines.

The current Great Value brands aren't advertised but the chain's friendly service is highlighted in its general advertising-a novel strategy in that country. The German spots are produced by GSD&M, Austin, Texas.

The mass merchandiser appears to be furthest along in Europe. Just last year, it acquired 74 hypermarkets in Germany from Spar Handels AG and purchased U.K. supermarket chain ADSA Group. Wal-Mart also is rumored to be eyeing the purchase of Casino Guichard Perrachon et Cie in France.

Outside Europe, Wal-Mart has a presence in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, Puerto Rico and Mexico-the last largely the result of buying a controlling interest in Mexican chain Cifra.

As a result of its global push, Wal-Mart's international sales for the third quarter ended Oct. 31 were up 100% from the corresponding quarter in 1998 to $5.91 billion. That's 14.6% of Wal-Mart's total $40.3 billion sales for the quarter.

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