Walmart Canada investing $3.5 billion to create ‘smarter stores’


The spending includes $1.1 billion to build two new distribution centres in Vaughan, Ont. and Surrey, B.C., and renovating more than 150 stores to include more digital technologies like shelf scanners “to monitor product voluments” and a new self-checkout that allows employees to check customers out “anywhere in the store.” Walmart Canada is also aiming to offer a complete merchandise pickup service at about 270 branches, or 70 per cent of its locations in Canada, by the end of this year. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Walmart has seen a surge in online demand as consumers limit trips outside their homes during the pandemic. The company’s online business in the U.S. grew 74 per cent in the first quarter ended April 30. The investment announced today will ensure Walmart Canada is developing “a supply chain that is the envy of the world,” said John Bayliss, senior vice-president of logistics and supply chain, in a statement. It will also spur competition in an increasingly crowded grocery market. Uber announced earlier this month it was launching grocery delivery in Montreal and Toronto, while Loblaw and Sobeys have also recently launched their own digital and delivery endeavours.