Wal-Mart plans to expand fresh food capabilities in Canada

Wal-Mart plans to expand fresh food capabilities in Canada

US retail giant Wal-Mart will invest "close to" C$500m (US$452.4m) this year to drive growth in Canada, including moves to enhance its fresh food offering.

The company said it will enlarge its supercentre and distribution network as well as expanding its e-commerce offering, walmart.ca.

During fiscal 2013, which ran to the end of January, the company invested around a similar amount - US$450m - on expanding in Canada.

This year, it will spend C$91m on distribution projects to "grow Wal-Mart Canada's fresh food capability", it said. A further C$31m will be spent on e-commerce.

The bulk of the investment - C$376m - will be spent on opening and upgrading Wal-Mart's store network. Wal-Mart said it will open 35 supercentres, increasing selling space in the country by 1m square feet.

By the end of January 2015 - the group's next financial year - Wal-Mart said it expects to operate 395 stores, including 282 supercentres and 113 discount outlets in Canada. 

The move will create 7,500 jobs in the country, Wal-Mart claimed.

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Walmart Canada announces expansion plans

Retailer to invest close to $500 million for supercentre, distribution network, and e-commerce projects

Projects will create more than 7,500 new store, distribution network, construction, and e-commerce jobs

35 supercentre projects will add one million square feet of retail space

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Walmart Canada announced today that it plans to complete 35 supercentre projects in the company's fiscal year which runs from February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015. The company also announced it will expand its distribution network to support its growth and will continue to expand its e-commerce operation, walmart.ca. 

The projects will represent a combined investment of close to $500 million in the Canadian economy over the next year and will include the construction of new stores as well as the expansion, remodeling and relocation of existing stores.  The investments will include more than $376 million for store projects, $91 million for distribution network projects to grow Walmart Canada's fresh food capability, and $31 million for e-commerce projects.  The combined expansion is expected to generate more than 7,500 jobs over the next year, including construction jobs.

"Customers in every region of Canada are looking to save money on their entire list of shopping needs," said Shelley Broader, Walmart Canada's president and CEO.  "Delivering on our commitment to help lower the cost of living is our top priority, and our growing network of supercentres and our expanding walmart.ca offering enable us to do just that."

Walmart Canada's supercentres provide an unparalleled one-stop shopping experience.  Each store carries more than 100,000 products ranging from groceries to apparel, home decor and electronics as well as specialty services such as pharmacies, garden centres and vision centres.
Walmart Canada's online store -- walmart.ca -- is growing rapidly and offers more than 150,000 products including everyday needs such as toothpaste, shampoo, dry grocery items including gluten-free products, electronics, furniture, fitness equipment, barbecues, patio sets, and toys for children of all ages. The site offers a growing range of services including free shipping throughout most of Canada and easy Canada Post pick up.

The locations for specific store and distribution centre projects will be announced as specific projects become finalized.  Today's announcement will bring Walmart Canada's store count to 395 by the end of January, 2015, including 282 supercentres and 113 discount stores.

Original source: Wal-Mart