Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) said on Tuesday that it will invest about 500 million Canadian dollars, or US$452 million, mostly to build 35 new supercenters in Canada, adding to the 247 that the world’s largest retailer already operates there.
The company says the investment will create 7,500 jobs, including temporary construction work, according to Reuters. About $122 million of Wal-Mart's spending will be used to flesh out its fresh-food distribution network and to expand its e-commerce operations.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said early last year it would build “at least” 37 supercenter in Canada in 2013 and would have 388 supercenters and discount stores in Canada by the end of last month, but Reuters reported that the current count is 360 outlets, which will rise to 395 by January 2015.
Meanwhile, the company said on Friday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it would close 50 underperforming stores in Brazil and China.
Last week, Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT), the Minneapolis, Minn.-based general merchandiser and Wal-Mart competitor, said it would add nine stores to its current roster of 124, mostly in Quebec, in 2014.
The expansion of two major U.S. retailers into the Great White North will turn the screws on Canada’s current top retailers, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (FRA:L8G) and Sobeys, which is owned by Empire Co. Ltd.