May 15, 2014 1:19 pm

Walmart is winning more grocery business in Canada

Walmart said Thursday it has increased grocery sales in Canada amid a "competitive market."

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Walmart’s courtship of Canadian grocery shoppers this year is turning into a fruitful affair for the world’s biggest retailer.

Walmart, which has been outfitting more Canadian department stores with grocery aisles, said Thursday food sales were its “strongest” growth category in Canada between February and the end of April.

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The gains helped Walmart increase market share against grocery rivals like Loblaw, Metro and Sobeys, according to data compiled for it by Nielsen.

READ MORE: Walmart Canada making bigger push into grocery aisle

It won a bigger share of Canadian consumer food budgets by doing what the discount behemoth does best: slashing prices.

In its quarterly report, Walmart said it continues to “invest” in lower prices in Canadian food items – a term retailers use to put a positive slant on the hit they take to their own pocket.

Not surprisingly, so-called “high traffic categories” that attract shoppers are seeing the biggest promotions, experts say.

This week, Walmart is selling 750ml of chocolate milk for $1, nine “mega” rolls of Cottonelle tissue for under $6, Gain laundry detergent and Activa yogurt for 20 per cent off, according to its online flyer.

The deals are cheaper than what’s found at Canadian counterparts, Walmart said. “Our continued price investment resulted in an increased price gap to competitors,” the company said.

Walmart Canada has been investing heavily in an ongoing roll-out of its “supercentres” that support grocery sales. About 250 of its 380 Canadian stores now sell food items.

The company also said online sales in Canada surged 134 per cent during the three-month period.

READ MORE: Is Loblaw finally ready to sell groceries online?

WATCH: Tips for saving money on your grocery bill.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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