Fresh food and online targets of Walmart investment
Walmart to make huge investment to drive Canadian growth.
February 14, 2014 By Andrew Joseph
U.S. retail giant Walmart will invest around Cdn $500-million (US$452.4 million) in 2014 to drive growth in Canada, including moves to enhance its fresh food offering.
The company said it will enlarge its Walmart Canada supercentre and distribution network as well as expanding its e-commerce offering, www.walmart.ca which is already growing quickly with over 150,000 products for sale, including free-shipping through most of Canada.
And, showing its colors, despite it being a U.S.-headquartered retail giant, on the Canadian website, Walmart is hyping its support of its own Canadian athletes—essentially giving Walmart Canada its own identity.
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 Cdn $91-million on distribution projects to “grow Wal-Mart Canada’s fresh food capability,” it said. A further Cdn $31-million will be spent on e-commerce.
The bulk of the investment – Cdn $376-million—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 1-million 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 combined Walmart expansion is expected to generate more than 7,500 jobs over the next year, including construction jobs.