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Industry NewsWalmart Canada announces $3.5 B five-year growth plan

Walmart Canada announces $3.5 B five-year growth plan


Walmart Canada is investing $3.5 billion over the next five years to improve the online and in-store customer shopping experience.

The investment will impact every aspect of the business leading to a faster e-commerce experience, two new distribution centres to speed up the flow of products, re-invented and “smarter” stores, an enhanced omni experience and modern digital tools to ensure associates can best serve customers. 

“Millions of customers choose to shop with us in-store and online every day – and that’s a tremendous honour,” says Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO, Walmart Canada. “Today’s significant investment will position us for future growth and make Walmart Canada even better for our associates and our customers. We are doubling down on our focus on the customer experience – not just to keep up but to lead and to be the very best in Canada.”

The investment will also create hundreds of Canadian construction jobs and forge new partnerships with Canadian technology companies.

The comprehensive plan includes renovations of existing stores, opening new stores, building two new distribution centres and partnering with technology firms to improve the omnichannel experience for customers.

  • Renovating over 150 stores over the next three years – over one-third of the store network 
  • New investments are in addition to over $1 billion invested into remodeling and opening stores over the past five years 
  • Accelerating digitization to create “smarter stores”, including: 
    • Expanded electronic shelf labels, shelf scanners to monitor product volumes, robotics and computer vision cameras to simplify, minimize touches and maximize efficiency and accuracy 
    • A new checkout experience to reduce touchpoints, including tap-to-pay, new bigger self-checkout and “Check Out With Me” mobile payment technology to allow associates to checkout customers anywhere in the store

Accelerating the omni offering for customers and creating thousands of new omni associate jobs 

  • Expanding the full “Walmart Pickup” offering to approximately 270 stores – or 70 per cent of locations – by end of 2020 
  • Piloting “hybrid locations” – supercentres with “micro fulfilment centres” in their backroom to increase the speed of fulfilment for pickup and delivery 
  • Investing in new technology to: 
    • Accelerate the pickup experience, including advanced notification 
    • Improve our fulfilment centre operations to increase speed and trackability.

 Investing $1.1 billion to build two new distribution centres and renovating an existing distribution centre creating hundreds of construction jobs:

  • Vaughan, ON:A next generation 550,000 square foot distribution centre at 11110 Jane Street (400 Highway and Teston Road) slated to open in 2024: 
    • The facility will leverage next generation automation and technology working with Vanderlande 
  • Surrey, BC:New 300,000 square foot distribution centre currently under construction at 19500 26thAve slated to open in 2022: 
    • Working with Witron on the site’s distribution logistics technology
  • Cornwall, ON:New automated systems in an existing distribution centre to manage apparel, health and beauty, and other small general merchandise items slated to go live in early 2021: 
    • The systems will feature machine learning, Cobot Technology which can work in concert with associates to improve the accuracy and efficiency of operations

Ramping up capacity in its distribution centre system through new leading-edge technologies: 

  • New next generation warehouse management systems which are omni capable in meeting the future needs of both physical stores and e-commerce 
  • Investing in telematics and “internet of things” sensors across over 2,200 trailers to give real-time information around the quality and freshness of its deliveries 
  • Launching world-leading artificial intelligence software in partnership with o9 to more accurately predict and better plan volume to ensure Walmart’s customers get what they want, when they want 
  • Scaling the blockchain transportation payments platform with Toronto based DLT Labs – the world’s biggest blockchain solution for transportation payments system 
  • Using new machine learning training software to support improved training and safety on the front lines of our distribution centre and fleet operations with Axonify, a Waterloo based micro-frontline learning company.

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