Business

Wal-Mart spending $452 million on Canadian expansion

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is plunging nearly 500 million Canadian dollars, or $452 million, into its efforts in the next year to dominate the retail landscape in the Great White North.

The discounter’s Canadian unit said Tuesday that it will spend $339 million to open 35 new supercenter stores — or 1-million square feet of new retail space — by the end of it fiscal year on Jan. 31, 2015.

The build-out would bring the total number of Wal-Mart units in the country to 395.

Last week, rival retailer Target said it would continue its growth in Canada by adding nine additional stores to the 124 locations already open.

Wal-Mart also said it plans to shell out $82 million on growing its distribution network for fresh foods above the border and $28 million more to boost its Canadian e-commerce presence.

The expansion plans will result in 7,500 new jobs, according to the company.

But Canada doesn’t represent unfettered opportunity for all American retailers.

Sears Canada said last week that it is eliminating about five associates per store – or 624 employees total – in an attempt to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

The next day, Best Buy Canada said its efforts to streamline and consolidate sales departments and layers of management would cost 950 employees their jobs.

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