Retail giant Walmart Canada is building its first-ever fulfillment centre in Quebec which is a $100-million delivery hub for Quebec and Atlantic Canada customers and part of the retailer’s plans to invest $1 billion in infrastructure this year.
That includes about $330 million in a record number of store renovations this year.
“This important investment is the latest example of Walmart’s commitment to Quebec,” said Cyrille Ballereau, Walmart Canada Regional Vice President for Quebec, in a statement. “We are investing for growth in Quebec and creating jobs for Quebecers to better serve our customers. Quebecers will see refreshed stores, quicker service and more options available in-store and online. When Quebecers choose Walmart, they are choosing to support a retailer that supports Quebecers.”
The new high-tech sortable fulfillment centre near Montreal in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec is expected to open in 2024 and will offer better product availability and quicker service for customers choosing to shop in-store or online at Walmart.ca, said the retailer.
The Quebec fulfillment centre will be about 457,000 square feet and it will be powered by cutting-edge logistics technology to achieve productivity with less physical effort by using innovative technology.
“This platform will speed up order fulfillment through an advanced operating system that will help associates store, pick and sort items by using smart and flexible storage abilities to manage a large and wide variety of inventory,” said Walmart, adding that the facility will be capable of shipping 20 million items annually to local customers and capable of storing 500,000 items to fulfill direct to home and in-store pickup orders.
The facility, which is designed to optimize packaging, minimize waste and reduce transportation costs, will create about 225 new jobs in Quebec, plus construction and engineering jobs.
“We are thrilled to partner with a brand and business as strong and reputable as Walmart,” said Tyler and Chris Harden, Co-CEOs of Harden, in a statement. “This state-of-the-art fulfillment centre is a true testament to their vision for the future of retailing and a long-term commitment to Vaudreuil and the province of Quebec, as a growing hub. We are proud to be executing the construction of this project on behalf of Walmart, with our in-house construction team, and to add this asset to our portfolio.”
Walmart said this year’s $1 billion investment also includes plans to update and remodel a record number of stores in a year with store changes including modernizing and upgrading physical spaces with a focus on improving the customer experience both in-store and online.
More than 80 stores from Port Alberni, B.C., to Carbonear, N.L., will be revamped and refreshed, providing more than 2,500 trade and construction jobs.
“We know these are challenging times for our customers. That’s why we are proud to be making significant investments in Canada to deliver the very best shopping experience,” said JP Suarez, Executive Vice President, Chief Administration Office and Regional CEO for Walmart International, who is also leading Walmart Canada on an interim basis, in a news release. “We are building a better Walmart Canada to help more Canadians save money and live better. As the cost of living rises, Canadians can trust Walmart to be that convenient, one-stop shop for everyday low prices.”
Some of the enhancements include:
- Expanding product assortment and offering an upgraded look and feel;
- Integrating more dedicated omnichannel spaces for more online orders;
- Refreshing interiors and exteriors, including fresh paint and new signage;
- Adding LED lighting to key departments to enhance the interior experience;
- Updating associate lounge areas, including new couches and other upgrades;
- Renovating washroom areas, including new tiling and sustainability features; and
- Replacing and upgrading legacy systems with new technology and applications.
Walmart Canada said these projects are part of its multi-year $3.5 billion investment in the Canadian market.
The company operates more than 400 stores across Canada with 1.5 million customers each day.