Walmart Canada to slash prices further to take on competition

More products for $1 are coming to Walmart Canada as the retailer takes on dollar stores, Target and the country’s biggest grocers in a strategy to win a larger share of the domestic retail market.

TORONTO — More products for $1 are coming to Walmart Canada as the retailer takes on dollar stores, Target and the country’s biggest grocers in a strategy to win a larger share of the domestic retail market.

Executives from the company met with analysts and the media in Toronto on Thursday to discuss its answer to the entry of U.S. rival Target and an expansion by Canadian dollar store operator Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL).

The plan includes lowering the prices of more items to about a loonie, said Shelley Broader, the retail giant’s Canadian president and CEO.

“That’s in direct reaction to what our customers need and want, but it happens to be a nice method of competing against the dollar stores,” she said.

“The idea of getting most, if not all, of your needs met in one spot becomes incredibly important.”

Walmart’s supercentres aim to do exactly that, offering customers deals on everything from dish towels to dry cleaning services. The price reductions are part of a strategy of “cementing ourselves in the minds and hearts of Canadians as one-stop shopping,” said Broader.

Solidifying that stance is particularly crucial right now because so many other retailers are fighting for the same consumer market that Walmart has practically had dominance over for several years.

Dollarama has been encroaching on the discount retailer low-priced territory in recent months, expanding its products beyond small items worth a loonie.

The Montreal-based dollar store chain said Wednesday that during the fourth quarter about half its sales of everyday consumer products, general merchandise and seasonal items were sold for between $1.25 and $2, up from 42 per cent last year.

Dollarama also aims to add up to 60 new stores this year, primarily in Ontario and Western Canada, in the face of growing competition from U.S. discount rival Dollar Tree.

Walmart is also rolling out a Canadian store expansion in advance of Target’s arrival in early next year.

This year, Walmart plans to spend more than $750 million to open, relocate or remodel 73 retail stores, including former Zellers locations.

The retailer has never competed against Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) outside its home base in the United States, which means Canadians could react to the new entrant in ways Walmart hasn’t anticipated. But the company is confident that it is prepared, Broader said.

“We have a tremendous amount of consumer research and we understand the nuances and the details of what customers are purchasing today,” she said.

Target’s Canadian debut has been one of the hottest stories on the domestic retail scene since early 2011 when it first made the announcement.

Canadian supermarket chains like Loblaws (TSX:L), Metro (TSX:MRU) and Sobey’s (TSX:EMP.A) are in the crosshairs of both Walmart and Target, who are looking for ways to convince shoppers to spend more money in their giant stores.

Walmart plans an aggressive expansion of its food business, adding the feature to existing stores that don’t already have it.

The company says over the past two years it has nearly doubled its share of the grocery market. It’s confident that the momentum of its growth will continue, partly because at this point only 50 per cent of Walmart’s Canadian stores have fresh food items.

Broader said Walmart wants to put a selection of fresh food items in “every store we can fit it in.”

Just Posted

Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Rural municipalities seek more funding to address cannabis legalization

Not enough supports in Municipal Cannabis Transition Program

Culprits smash truck into store in failed attempt to steal ATM

Suspects reversed truck through doors of Eastview IGA early Sunday morning

Flu immunization now available in Red Deer

Free vaccine to Albertans six months and older

Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Halifax smoking ban begins today; city announces several new smoking areas

Halifax’s sweeping smoking ban begins today, two days before recreational cannabis is… Continue reading

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

TORONTO — The organization behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes says provincial education systems… Continue reading

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

Most Read