Walmart to spend $1B improving Canadian stores
Work includes creating a futuristic flagship store in Ontario.
- The company is planning over $300 million in store renovations this fiscal year.
- This work includes creating Walmart Canada’s future flagship store in Ontario.
- These investments mark the midpoint in the five-year timeframe of the retailer’s major $3.5 billion investment in store infrastructure and customer experience transformation.
The Whole Story:
Walmart Canada is investing nearly $1 billion this fiscal year as part of a multi-year modernization plan.
This includes unveiling its “Store of the Future” in Mississauga, Ont., including the first Walmart Health hub in Canada, and investing over $300 million in store remodels and renovations.
These investments mark the midpoint in the five-year timeframe of the retailer’s major $3.5 billion investment in store infrastructure and customer experience transformation, first announced in July 2020.
“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,” said Gonzalo Gebara, president and CEO, Walmart Canada. “We’re excited to welcome our customers into our modernized stores and for them to experience the future of Walmart Canada, no matter how they choose to shop with us.”
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.
This includes creating “immersive retail experiences”. This transformation will begin in electronics where traditional product cases will be replaced by open displays allowing for hands-on interactions. 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.
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.
Modernizing the in-store experience
Walmart Canada will upgrade and modernize 55 stores across the country this year to improve customer experience, including 20 extensive 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.
Significant updates to 20 stores across the country this year will include changes such as:
- Clearer navigation, new aisle markers and enhanced customer-facing signage.
- A focus on sustainability, including transitioning to CO2, a more environmentally-preferable refrigerant.
- Updated Fresh departments, providing customers with a larger produce area and expanded assortment.
- Enhanced support for omnichannel experience, including more dedicated space to pack and prepare customer orders and improved technology.
In August, the retailer also opened a brand new, 140,000 square-foot Supercentre in Montreal, Que.’s Marché Central shopping centre.
This year’s investments also support new e-commerce-ready facilities, including the Rocky View County Fulfillment Centre, which opened June 2023 in Alberta. This facility is capable of shipping 20 million items annually direct to customers.