When it comes to investing in America, Walmart has a very strong history. We directly employ approximately 1.6 million people in this country and support many more jobs beyond that.
Today, I’m proud to announce our support for even more jobs by expanding and modernizing the facilities most core to our business: our stores. In the next five years, Walmart is planning to build or convert more than 150 stores, while simultaneously continuing our program to remodel existing stores. These efforts represent millions of dollars in capital investment of labor, supplies and tax revenue, which benefit their respective communities. And they’ll help us reach and serve even more customers.
During the next 12 months, we plan to remodel 650 stores across 47 states and Puerto Rico – creating tens of thousands of jobs supporting these projects. That’s in addition to the hundreds of jobs we’ll bring to a community each time we open a new store. And those jobs come with amazing perks, like tuition-free college starting on day one, or flexible scheduling and competitive paid time off.
I’m excited to say the first two new stores under this initiative, both Neighborhood Markets, are set to open later this Spring in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. We’re also finalizing construction plans on 12 new projects we intend to start this year, along with converting one of our smaller locations to a Walmart Supercenter.
Our new and remodeled stores will reflect Walmart's Store of the Future concept, featuring improved layouts, expanded product selections and innovative technology to help our associates better support our customers and make shopping more convenient and enjoyable. Customers love this concept in the places we’ve already rolled it out, and we’re excited to transition more and more of our fleet.