Entry into Canada promises to be an uphill battle for Target as an announcement by Walmart Tuesday morning reaffirmed.
Walmart said 2012 would be a record year of expansion for it in Canada with the addition of 73 projects that will add 4.6 million sq. ft. of space at a cost of roughly $750 million. About half of those stores, 39 to be exact, are former Zeller’s locations acquired by Target and then resold to Walmart. All 73 stores are scheduled to open in 2012 and will bring Walmart’s presence in Canada up to 375 units by year end before Target opens its first stores in 2013.
Target is apparently taking a more measured approach with its store renovations and market entry strategy with the acquired Zellers locations than Walmart. Walmart purchased the leases from Target in June 2011 and will have all stores open by the end of the year and Target originally bought the leases before Walmart but won’t open its stores until after Walmart.
“This is an exciting year for Walmart Canada,” said Wamart Canada president and CEO Shelley Broader. “We are proud of our 18-year record of growth, and of the investment we make in the Canadian economy. As the country's fastest growing retailer, every year we create thousands of new jobs, spend billions of dollars with Canadian suppliers, and invest millions in Canadian communities.”
Walmart Canada ended the fiscal year with 333 stores, including 164 supercenters.