In Canada New Walmart Supercentre, Target Stores Mean More Competition For Grocers

                     Up from just over 330 total locations in 2011, Walmart stores in Canada will number some 388 by year end 2013 with 39 of the newest stores occupying former Zellers locations.  Most of the half a billion dollars Walmart Canada plans to spend in 2013 will go towards renovating and expanding existing locations (by Dec 2013 63% (246/388) of Walmart locations will feature an expanded food section which will include new items such as frozen cranberries and carrot juice, that's up from 55% of locations December 2012 (206/379).  The Supercentres average twice the size of traditional stores (200th sqft vs 100th sqft) and, in addition to an expanded product selection (fresh seafood/baked goods) may also house fast food outlets as well as pet shops.  July 2013 - Walmart opens its first grocery supercentre in Halifax.  

Target is opening 124 stores in Canada in Calendar year 2013 (down from previous estimate of 135), that includes at least 12 in the French speaking province of Quebec.  Initially, most of Target Canada's food items will be supplied by the #2 grocer Sobeys.  Supermarket competition is about to intensify immensely in Canada which bodes well for shoppers, not so much for retailers who are already facing tighter margins as a result of higher than usual competition and a reluctance by consumers to pay more when food costs go up.

August 2013 update - As of June 2013 there are 68 Target stores in Canada, the other 56 will open in the last six months of the year.  Canadian sales totaled $275m or 1.6% of company total ($17.120 billion).  A recently released report showed that Target's prices are up to 5% higher in Canada than they are at Target's American locations and that irked Canadians - customer satisfaction with Target Canada was 27% in August, down from over 35% two months earlier.

notes

  • Walmart sells over $130 billion worth of groceries annually which is more than Kroger and Costco.
  • Walmart is China's biggest customer.  It imports slightly more from China than Germany does (over $30 billion)

more information on Canada's food industry can be found at

usda Canada Report

Stacking Up Canada's Grocers (updated every three months)

northamericaninterests.ca

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