January 30, 2013

Walmart expands across the nation

Walmart is investing almost half a billion dollars over the next year on an ambitious expansion plan in Canada, while Target Corp. gets ready to enter the Canadian retail market this spring.

“Our associates across the country have done an incredible job this past year serving our customers and opening a record number of new stores and supercentres,” said Shelley Broader, president and CEO of Walmart Canada in a press release.

“This year, we are ramping up our focus on lowering prices and helping customers lower their cost of living, as we continue to bring our supercentre format to more Canadians.”

The major expansion in Canada includes a plan to complete at least 37 supercentre projects in the company’s next fiscal year, which runs from Feb. 1, 2013 to Jan. 31, 2014.

Walmart has also announced it will be expanding its distribution network to support its ongoing store growth and expansion plans.

The company expects to invest more than $450 million in the distribution centre projects, construction of new stores, and expansion, remodelling or relocation of existing stores.

These expansion plans are expected to generate more than 7,000 store, trade and construction jobs.

The locations for specific store and distribution centre projects will be announced as the details for each project are finalized.

As of Jan. 31, 2013, Walmart Canada will have 379 stores, including 209 supercentres.

The expansion plan is expected to increase the company’s store count to 388 by the end of January, 2014.

Target Corporation bought Zellers Inc., a subsidiary of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), in January 2011 for $1.825 billion, which includes 220 sites.

As a result of the transaction, Target plans to open its first stores in Canada in the spring of 2013.

The company expects to open 100 to 150 stores throughout Canada in 2013 and 2014.

The entry of Target into Canada will create thousands of jobs through store renovations, expansions and new construction as well as store operations.

Target expects that renovation of leased sites will result in an aggregate investment of more than $1 billion.

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