Three Walmart superstores open in Canada

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Wal-Mart Canada's first three supercenters opened in Ancaster, London and Stouffville, Ontario.

The idea originally started in the United States in late 2005 and was announced that it would be arriving in Canada.

Flat screen TVs suspended from the ceiling will feature a television network, featuring fashion shows of Wal-Mart's clothing lines, TV commercials featuring brands the retailer carries, and corporate messages.

A Wal-Mart supercenter in Madison Heights, Virginia.

With an expanded selection of electronics, hardware, home and housewares, the Wal-Mart supercentre could be compared to Future Shop, Home Depot, Home Outfitters, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Fortinos. The supercentre has wider aisles, higher ceilings, clear signage, and cash registers in selected departments such as electronics and clothing.

"Our goal is to become the one-stop shop for customers," said Mario Pilozzi, chief executive of Wal-Mart Canada. "You see how fresh that is today? We are going to maintain that freshness in these stores."

Wal-Mart's Canadian supercentres are more sophisticated then their U.S. counterparts, because Canadian grocers have created higher expectations among the average consumer, company officials say.

However, Wal-Mart openings are controversial in many communities. Activists claim they can be detrimental to local economies, driving out locally owned businesses, lowering wages, and leading to suburban sprawl.

Wal-Mart already has plans to open fourteen new supercentres in 2007, of them Scarborough, Sarnia, Brampton and Vaughan will be early in the year.

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