On-Site Magazine

Walmart Canada spending $1.1B to build new distribution centres in Toronto, Vancouver areas

July 20, 2020   By On-Site Staff

The company said the new warehouse facilities will support both physical stores and online shopping needs. PHOTO: Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada plans to spend billions to shore up its supply chain and modernize more than 150 stores across the country.

The U.S.-based retail giant said July 20 it plans to invest $3.5 billion over the next five years on new construction, renovations, as well as a range of technology to simplify both in- and out-of-store shopping.

The capital plan includes $1.1 billion for the construction of two new fulfillment centres — one in Vaughan, Ont. and one in Surrey, B.C. The funding will also pay for the installation of new automated equipment and associated renovations at an existing warehouse facility in Windsor, Ont.

“The retail business is as dynamic as ever and this investment ensures we’re developing a supply chain that is the envy of the world,” said John Bayliss, senior vice-president for Logistics and Supply Chain at Walmart Canada, in a release. “The better the supply chain, the quicker our customers can get the products they want. This investment will transform our supply chain and create hundreds of Canadian construction jobs along the way.”

Work is already underway on the facility in the Vancouver area, with the 300,000 sq. ft. site at 19500 26th Ave. in Surrey scheduled to open in 2022. The retailer is working with Germany-based Witron on automated sorting equipment for the facility.

In the Toronto area, Walmart is planning a 550,000 sq. ft. distribution centre at 11110 Jane Street. The facility, which is expected to open in 2024, will integrate automated robotics from Netherlands-headquartered Vanderlande.

Walmart said the next-generation warehouse management systems at both sites will help the company keep its physical stores stocked and meet future e-commerce needs.

Along with the added distribution capabilities, Walmart plans to renovate 150 of its more than 400 Canadian locations over the next three years. The work will focus on “accelerating digitization” within the shops, Walmart said, pointing to the expanded use of shelf scanners, robotics and cameras, as well as overhauled checkout areas that include larger self checkouts.

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