Wal-Mart is planning to build more than 50 stores over the next two years in poorer areas.

The US retail giant said that it would also work with small local businesses in a Jobs and Opportunities Zones initiative, which would feature small local businesses in free local newspaper advertising and on Wal-Mart's in-store radio.

Lee Scott, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart, said: “I do not believe that companies wake up in the morning just being altruistic. As you mature as a company, you find out that existing in these communities is a two-way street.”