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Industry NewsWalmart to invest nearly $1B in store network

Walmart to invest nearly $1B in store network

Walmart Canada plans to invest close to $1 billion this fiscal year as part of a multi-year plan to modernize its stores and enhance the customer shopping experience.

The plan includes unveiling what the big box retailer is calling its “store of the future” in Mississauga, Ont. and investing more than $300 million in store remodels and renovations.

The latest news builds on the retailer’s planned five-year $3.5 billion investment it announced in 2020 to enhance the online and in-store shopping experience. 

At the store level, Walmart says it will upgrade 55 locations across the country this year, which will include up to 20 extensive store refurbishments. Stores in Rexdale, Mississauga (Erin Mills, Square One) and Newmarket in Ontario; Kirkland and Montreal Nord in Quebec and Kamloops in British Columbia will experience the most significant transformations.

For its e-commerce business, the retailer plans to invest in facilities that will help get products to Canadians faster. Earlier this year it opened its first distribution centre in Atlantic Canada and in 2022, it opened a $110 million high-tech sortable fulfillment centre near Calgary, Alta.

During the opening of its first distribution centre in Atlantic Canada in May of 2023, Gonzalo Gebara, president and CEO, Walmart Canada stated “we’re strengthening our best-in-class supply chain network with distribution centres from coast-to-coast to ensure product gets into the hands of our customers even faster. We take great pride seeing our associates, customers and communities benefit from these investments in the form of jobs, better product availability and economic impact.”

And Walmart plans to continue to invest in its retail network in 2024 and beyond, says Gebara.

“Walmart Canada has an ambition to be the most trusted retailer for Canadians. This is what we’ve worked towards for the last 30 years and it’s why we continue to invest, including nearly $1 billion this year, to build an even more efficient, consistent, and reliable omnichannel experience for Canadians.”

Walmart Canada’s Store of the Future

Walmart Canada’s future flagship location, the Square One Walmart Supercentre in Mississauga, Ont., is the retailer’s largest store by square foot and one of its largest capital investments in a single store.

With improvements already underway, this Store of the Future will act as a prototype for omnichannel retail innovation.

  • Immersive retail experiences will enhance in-store shopping for customers, including opportunities to experience and purchase products in new ways. This transformation will begin in electronics where traditional product cases will be replaced by open displays allowing for hands-on interactions.
  • Exploring new, technology-powered ways to shop. In this reimagined electronics department, customers will be able to see product availability in real-time, scan a QR code to place their order and experience immediate on-site delivery by an associate, facilitated by automation.
  • New Walmart Health Hub will centralize pharmacy, vision centre and medical clinic into one area, providing a one-stop shop for health and wellness needs, supported by the company’s new pharmacy app. Square One’s Walmart Health hub is the first of its kind in Canada and is a window to the future of how Walmart Canada will strive to enhance access to affordable, personalized healthcare.
  • An expanded omnichannel operations area provides dedicated space for associates to pick, pack and stage customer orders- creating more availability for pickup and delivery slots for customers.

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