Walmart Canada is closing six stores and spending $500 million to upgrade more than half its remaining locations in a bid to improve the “look and feel” of its stores and enhance its online business.
The chain says it’s closing three stores in Ontario (Mississauga, Hamilton, and Kitchener), two in Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton) and one in Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John’s).
The Mississauga, Ont., based retailer says workers will be offered positions at nearby stores as each of the impacted locations is in a market that is already served by other Walmart stores.
Meanwhile, Walmart Canada says the record $500 million investment will see improvements in more than 60 per cent of its stores including upgrades to lighting, repairs, paint and new signage as well as improvements to staff lounges.
The company also says the investment includes the launch of the retailer’s first automated market fulfilment centre inside the Scarborough West Walmart Supercentre.
Construction has already started on the operation, which will see automated online grocery picking and dispensing and automated kiosks that will serve as vending machines for online grocery orders, the company said.
The company is also revamping the layout of select stores, improving the pickup spaces for online orders in its highest e-commerce volume stores and converting stores in Calgary and Kitchener, Ont., to supercentres.
The upgrades this year are part of the retailer’s planned $3.5-billion investment to improve online and in-store shopping over the next five years.
Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO of Walmart Canada, says the company is on a mission to modernize all aspects of its business with a focus on stores and serving customers “in more omnichannel ways.”
The specific store closures are:
- County Fair location in Hamilton
- Malton, Ont.
- Kitchener East
- Deer Valley location in Calgary
- Abbotsfield location in Edmonton
- St. John’s South, Nfld.