Wal-mart on Wednesday announced plans to dramatically expand its footprint North of the Border by completing 29 supercenter projects in Canada in the next year. The company announced it will also expand its distribution network to support its food and e-commerce growth in Canada, and will continue to expand and enhance its e-commerce website, Walmart.ca.
The news comes less than a month after Target announced it would close its Canadian division of 134 stores.
Total capital spending for the projects is expected to be approximately 340 million Canadian dollars. This will include approximately C$230 million for the remodeling and expansion of several stores to add full grocery departments, C$75 million for additional distribution centers to grow the company’s fresh food and e-commerce capacity, and C$35 million for additional e-commerce initiatives. This capital expenditure investment is part of Wal-Mart’s global fiscal year 2016 capital expenditures commitment.
The combined expansion is expected to generate approximately 3,700 construction jobs, 1,000 store jobs and 300 distribution center jobs across Canada over the next year. Today’s expansion announcement is in addition to the 11 Wal-mart supercenters which recently opened across Canada in January.
“Our mission is to provide multiple access points for customers to save money,” said Dirk Van den Berghe, President and CEO of Wal-mart Canada, the Canadian division of Wal-mart based in Mississauga, Ontario. “We will deliver on this commitment through a range of channels including our expanding network of supercenters, our accelerating e-commerce business, and our in-store pick up services.”
Locations of specific stores and distribution centers will be announced over the coming weeks and months as projects become finalized. The expansion will bring Wal-mart Canada’s store count to 396 by the end of January 2016, consisting of 309 supercenters and 87 discount stores.
Wal-mart Canada’s supercenters offer as many as 120,000 products ranging from groceries to apparel, home decor and electronics, and many specialty services including pharmacies, garden centers and vision care departments.
Wal-mart Canada’s e-commerce website offers more than 150,000 products including dry grocery items, electronics, furniture, fitness equipment, barbecues, patio sets and toys.
Wal-mart Canada currently operates 394 stores nationwide, consisting of 280 supercentres and 114 discount stores serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. Wal-mart Canada is one of the country’s largest employers and has been ranked one of Canada’s top 10 most influential brands four years in a row.