Wal-Mart has shelved its ambitious expansion plans for its troubled German operation, with just two new stores set to open in Germany this year. Last July the company announced plans to open 50 new stores and refurbish or extend its 95 existing outlets in Germany by 2003, doubling its market share in the country. By October, when the extent of its losses in Germany became apparent, Wal-Mart chief executive Lee Scott admitted the group's foray into the market had been a "failure". Wal-Mart first entered Germany in 1997 with the purchase of 21 Wertkauf stores, but rapidly acquired a further 74 outlets from the Spar supermarket chain the following year. It has nevertheless failed to make a profit in Germany to date, chalking up annual losses in excess of £200m. {{NEWS }}