Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT:US), the world’s largest retailer, will spend C$450 million ($453 million) building new outlets and renovating stores in Canada, pushing back at rival Target Corp. (TGT:US)’s expansion into the country.
Walmart Canada will complete at least 37 superstores in the year through January 2014 and will increase its distribution network, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said today in a statement.
Wal-Mart is bolstering its presence in Canada and working to attract and retain customers as Target expands outside the U.S. for the first time. Walmart Canada expects to end the month with 379 locations, including 209 superstores, while Target plans to open 125 sites in Canada this year.
Full grocery sections will be added to more locations across Canada, Shelley Broader, chief executive officer of Walmart Canada, said in the statement. The company also will introduce its supercenter format to locations in Canada’s Maritimes provinces this year.
Wal-Mart rose (WMT:US) 0.5 percent to $69.20 on Jan. 18. The shares advanced 14 percent last year, compared with a 16 percent gain for Minneapolis-based Target.
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