Wal-Mart wants to open 400 medical clinics, called The Clinic at Wal-Mart, in its stores by the end of 2010.

The first will launch at its Little Rock, Arkansas store in April, providing walk-in medical services run by a local hospital group. The retailer also plans to co-brand up to 200 of the clinics with Rediclinics.

Rediclinics operates surgeries in 13 Wal-Mart stores, but the first of its new-look clinics will open in Atlanta in April, with Dallas set to follow in the summer. The clinics are intended to mirror the look of a doctor’s surgery.

At present Wal-Mart offers some form of medical service in 78 stores in the US. Rival Target operates walk-in clinics, as do US national pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.

John Agwunobi, senior vice-president of health and wellness at Wal-Mart, said: “We know that America’s healthcare challenges are larger than any one corporation, but we’re committed to doing our part to expand access to quality affordable healthcare.”

Last week, Wal-Mart’s retail division posted like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, up 1.8 per cent in the four weeks to February 1, which was below expectations.