A major infrastructure investment from Walmart Canada will pay for a comprehensive store refresh initiative and a new supply chain facility.
The Canadian subsidiary of U.S. discount giant Walmart is investing $1 billion in infrastructure this year as part of what the retailer says are efforts to speed up and transform the business for its customers. The investment includes more than $100 million to build a high-tech sortable fulfillment center near Montreal in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, as well as $330 million to revamp and refresh more than 80 stores across Canada.
These projects are all part of Walmart Canada’s multi-year, $3.5 billion investment that it initially announced in July 2020. At the time, the retailer said it was allocating the money to make its in-store and online shopping experience simpler, faster and more convenient.
Walmart Canada said the investment, spread out through 2025, will lead to re-invented and “smarter” stores, a faster e-commerce experience, two new distribution centers to speed up product flow, an enhanced omnichannel experience and modern digital tools to ensure employees can best serve customers.
Some of the planned store enhancements include:
- Refreshing interiors and exteriors, including fresh paint and new signage;
- Adding LED lighting to key departments to enhance the interior experience;
- Updating associate lounge areas, including new couches and other upgrade;
- Renovating washroom areas, including new tiling and sustainability features;
- Expanding product assortment and offering an upgraded look and feel;
- Integrating more dedicated omnichannel spaces for more online orders; and
- Replacing and upgrading legacy systems with new technology and applications.
The new supply chain facility will be approximately 457,000-sq.-ft. in size and serve as a delivery hub for customer orders in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The center will feature an advanced operating system designed to help associates store, pick and sort items by using smart, flexible storage abilities.
In addition, the Quebec supply chain hub will be capable of shipping 20 million items annually to local customers, and of storing 500,000 items to fulfill direct-to-home and in-store pickup orders. The facility is being designed to optimize packaging, minimize waste and reduce transportation costs. Walmart Canada expects to create approximately 225 new jobs in Quebec at the fulfillment center, along with construction and engineering jobs.
“This important investment is the latest example of Walmart’s commitment to Quebec,” said Cyrille Ballereau, Walmart Canada regional VP for Quebec. “We are investing for growth in Quebec and creating jobs for Quebecers to better serve our customers. Quebecers will see refreshed stores, quicker service and more options available in-store and online. When Quebecers choose Walmart, they are choosing to support a retailer that supports Quebecers.”
Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide, as well as a Canadian e-commerce site.