Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will invest $453 million to expand its Canadian branch, Walmart Canada, in 2013, opening 37 supercenters and bolstering its distribution network as its primary competitor, Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) plans to open as many as 125 stores by the end of this year.

The move by the Bentonville, Ark., company will increase its retail space by 1.4 million square feet. The world's largest retailer also said the expansion will add about 7,000 "store, trade and construction" jobs.

The move anticipates the arrival in Canada of Wal-Mart's primary competitor, Target, which will open its doors in the Great White North sometime next month, the company has said.

Walmart Canada says it will end January with 379 stores, including 209 of its larger outlets. The company is opening nine stores simultaneously in Canada on Friday. Last year the company opened or refurbished 79 outlets, including 39 locations that were bought from privately held Canadian merchandise chain Zellers.