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Walmart Canada to invest $3.5 billion to bring you better shopping experience
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Walmart Canada to invest $3.5 billion to bring you better shopping experience 

Walmart Canada just announced that it will be making a $3.5 billion investment over the next five years to generate growth and to optimize online and in-shopping experience to make it simpler, faster and more convenient for customers.

These changes will be impacting every aspect of the Walmart business which will lead to faster e-commerce experience, two new distribution centres to quicken product flow, “smarter” stores, a new omni experience and modern digital tools to ensure all associated can assist clients.

Walmart Canada has more than 400 stores across Canada serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. It’s online store, Walmart.ca is visited by more than 900,000 customers daily.

Through this investment, Walmart will create hundreds of construction jobs for Canadians and forge new collaborations with Canadian technology companies.

Stores of the Future

The company will be renovating about one-third of its stores (150 stores) over the next three years, in addition to the $1 billion investment they have made in remodeling and opening stores over the past five years. The retail giant has also been prioritizing digitization for “smarter stores” with “expanded electronic shelf labels, shelf scanners to monitor product volumes, robotics and computer vision cameras to simplify, minimize touches and maximize efficiency and accuracy. It has also implemented a new checkout experience with tap-to-pay and “Check Out With Me” mobile payment technology to allow associates to checkout customers anywhere in the store. 

New Customer Offerings and Associate Jobs

Walmart will also be expanding the “Walmart Pickup” offering to 270 stores by the end of 2020. The brand is also in the works of piloting hybrid locations with “micro fulfilment centres” in their backroom to increase the efficiency of pickup and delivery. Lastly, they will also invest in new technology to improve the pickup experience and improve their fulfilment centres operations by increasing speed and trackability.

Two New Distribution Centres and Construction Jobs

The brand plans to invest $1.1 billion to make to new distribution centres and renovate an existing one. This will result in the creation of hundreds of construction jobs:

  • Vaughan, ON: A next generation 550,000 square foot distribution centre at 11110 Jane Street (400 Highway and Teston Road) slated to open in 2024:
    • The facility will leverage next generation automation and technology working with Vanderlande
  • Surrey, BC: New 300,000 square foot distribution centre currently under construction at 19500 26th Ave, slated to open in 2022:
    • Working with Witron on the site’s distribution logistics technology
  • Cornwall, ON: New automated systems in an existing distribution centre to manage apparel, health and beauty, and other small general merchandise items slated to go live in early 2021:
    • The systems will feature machine learning, Cobot Technology which can work in concert with associates to improve the accuracy and efficiency of operations

New Leading-Edge Technology

The brand is also leveraging new technology in its new distribution centres. It will use a new next generation warehouse management system which is omni capable in meeting physical store and e-commerce needs. Walmart also plans to invest in telematics and “Internet of Things” sensors to use in over 2,200 trailers. This will allow them to receive real-time information on the quality of deliveries. It is also launching an artificial intelligence software in collaboration with o9 to accurately predict and plan volume of products. Another technology initiative that the company is undertaking is the scaling of blockchain transportation payments platform with DLT Labs, the world’s biggest blockchain solution for logistics payments systems based in Toronto. Lastly, Walmart will also be using a new machine learning training software to support training and safety on the front lines of their distribution centre and fleet operations by partnering with Axonify, a Waterloo based micro-frontline learning company.

“Millions of customers choose to shop with us in-store and online every day – and that’s a tremendous honour,” said Horacio Barbeito, President and CEO, Walmart Canada. “Today’s significant investment will position us for future growth and make Walmart Canada even better for our associates and our customers. We are doubling down on our focus on the customer experience – not just to keep up but to lead and to be the very best in Canada.”

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