Walmart Canada says it has plans to invest over $200 million in its store network, with a focus on refurbishing and refreshing 31 stores across the country over the next year.
These updates are the latest in a series of store investments, building on the retailer's $175 million updates to its store network in its last fiscal year. Over the last five years, the company has invested over $1 billion in its Canadian store network.
Walmart Canada's store investments will strengthen the company's extensive store network and provide a better in-store experience, says the retailer. The company will expand its fresh food Supercentre format to more locations and the investments will also help create a more seamless experience for customers ordering on Walmart.ca and picking up at their local store. Approximately 3,250 construction jobs will be created to support these upgrades.
"Our store network is a key advantage in our ability to best serve the changing needs of our customers," says Lee Tappenden, President and CEO of Walmart Canada. "1.2 million customers in Canada choose to shop in our stores every day, and we are focused on making their experience easy, enjoyable and convenient while seamlessly integrating our e-Commerce business. Investing in our stores is critical for the future of our business and to deliver on the changing needs of our customers."
Walmart Canada has opened more than 20 stores over the past four years. As part of the retailer's store strategy, they will also close two stores, one in Pincourt, QC (101 Boulevard Cardinal Leger) and one in Sault St. Marie, ON (293 Bay St.) Staff at these two stores will be offered positions at nearby Walmart locations. In the Pincourt area, that includes the Vaudreuil Supercentre (3050 Boulevard de la Gare) which offers an expanded assortment including fresh groceries. In Sault Ste. Marie, meanwhile, the closest location is the newly renovated Supercentre located at 446 Great Northern Rd. Walmart does not plan to close any further stores this year.
Updated features will include dedicated parking spaces for online grocery pickup and new areas in stores devoted to online orders. There will be new additions in the bakery departments and hot food offerings, as well as introducing new licensees to stores for increased customer convenience.
Physical updates will provide a refreshed look and feel, including rearranged stores, updated colour palette, new signage, and initiatives to make stores fun and engaging for customer.
The stores set for renovations include the Grand Prairie, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, and Wetaskiwin stores in Alberta; Langley and Victoria in B.C.; Winnipeg (North) and Thompson in Manitoba; Gander, Newfoundland; Montreal (Decarie), Repentigny, and St. Jerome in Quebec; Yorkton, Saskatchewan; and Bolton, Brampton (East), Brockville, Kanata, Kenora, Orillia, Ottawa (South), Pembroke, Renfrew, Richmond Hill (South), St. Catharines (Centre), St. Thomas, Timmins, Toronto (Stockyards), Trenton, Vaughan (West), and Windsor (South) in Ontario.
Walmart Canada operates more than 400 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers each day, and the website is visited by more than 750,000 customers daily. The retailer has more than 85,000 employees.