Good news for Canadian jobseekers. At least 7,500 jobs will be made available as Walmart announced on Tuesday it plans to spend C$500 million over the next year to add 35 more supercenter stores.
The U.S.-owned retailer currently has 389 stores in Canada, including 247 supercentres that carry a combination of groceries, apparel, and household goods. By end January 2015, it expects to have 395 stores, with 282 supercentres and 113 discount stores.
Much of the company's latest investment is targeted towards Quebec and Atlantic Canada, the WSJ said, citing analyst Keith Howlett.
Part of the investment will be spent for e-commerce projects and to enhance its distribution network to handle more fresh food, at $31 million and $91 million, respectively.
Pampers diapers, a product distributed by Procter & Gamble, is pictured on sale at a Ralphs grocery store in Pasadena, California January 21, 2014. Procter & Gamble Co, the world's largest household products maker, reported lower quarterly profit on January 24, 2013, hurt by unfavorable currency movements and lower gross profit margin. Picture taken January 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Shelley Broader, Walmart Canada's president and CEO, said 7,500 jobs will be offered across the country, where majority will be temporary construction jobs. Some 2,600 will be later offered as permanent Walmart store staff.
She said Walmart intends to be the one-stop hub of choice of Canadians for their food, general merchandise and household products requirements. Its mammoth supercentres, occupying between 63,000 square feet and 220,000 square feet, can house anything and every item possible.
"We love the idea of our customer coming in and buying ground turkey and taco seasoning and salad mix and diapers, getting their oil changed, picking up a pair of eyeglasses and riding home on a new bike. I mean you can get it all done at Walmart and we love the idea of that," Ms Broader told Lethbridge Herald.
She also noted the Canadians' seeming love of experimentation with food.
"Canadians are like, 'What do you do with that? How do you eat that, how do you cook it, what kind of sauce do you put on it? Canadians are all about everybody else's food," Ms Broader said.
Walmart's announcement effectively upped the competition stakes in Canada's grocery retail industry.