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Walmart Canada Starts $3.5B DC Upgrade for Omnichannel

July 21, 2020

Walmart Canada is making a major $3.5 billion investment over the next five years aimed to generate significant growth and to make the online and in-store shopping experience simpler, faster and more convenient for Walmart’s customers.

The investment will impact every aspect of the business leading to a faster e-commerce experience, two new distribution centres to speed up the flow of products, re-invented and “smarter” stores, an enhanced omni experience and modern digital tools to ensure associates can best serve customers.

As Walmart Canada’s business grows – especially with grocery and e-commerce picking up significant momentum – Walmart will not compromise on offering the everyday low prices customers trust – both online and in-store.

The investment will also create hundreds of Canadian construction jobs and forge new partnerships with Canadian technology companies.

“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.”

“We need to do everything we can to delight our customer every single time they choose to shop with us, whether it’s online or in the store. We’re challenging ourselves to be better and be relentlessly focused on excellent omni customer service and experience,” said Sam Wankowski, Chief Operations Officer, Walmart Canada. “This means better stores, quicker service and doing what Walmart does best – focusing on customers, always at Walmart’s everyday low prices.”

“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. 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,” said John Bayliss, Senior Vice President, Logistics and Supply Chain, Walmart Canada.

Reinvented, modernized “stores of the future”:

o Renovating over 150 stores over the next three years – over one-third of the store network

o New investments are in addition to over $1 billion invested into remodeling and opening stores over the past five years

o Accelerating digitization to create “smarter stores”, including:

· Expanded electronic shelf labels, shelf scanners to monitor product volumes, robotics and computer vision cameras to simplify, minimize touches and maximize
efficiency and accuracy

· A new checkout experience to reduce touchpoints, including tap-to-pay, new bigger self-checkout and “Check Out With Me” mobile payment technology to allow associates to checkout customers anywhere in the store

Accelerating the omni offering for customers and creating thousands of new omni associate jobs:

o Expanding the full “Walmart Pickup” offering to approximately 270 stores – or 70% of locations – by end of 2020

o Piloting “hybrid locations” – supercentres with “micro fulfilment centres” in their backroom to increase the speed of fulfilment for pickup and delivery

o Investing in new technology to:

· Accelerate the pickup experience, including advanced notification

· Improve our fulfilment centre operations to increase speed and trackability

Investing $1.1B to build two new distribution centres and renovating an existing distribution centre creating hundreds of construction jobs:

o 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

o 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

o 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

Ramping up capacity in its distribution centre system through new leading-edge technologies:

o New next generation warehouse management systems which are omni capable in meeting the future needs of both physical stores and e-commerce

o Investing in telematics and “internet of things” sensors across over 2,200 trailers to give real-time information around the quality and freshness of its deliveries

o Launching world-leading artificial intelligence software in partnership with o9 to more accurately predict and better plan volume to ensure Walmart’s customers get what they want, when they want

o Scaling the blockchain transportation payments platform with Toronto based DLT Labs – the world’s biggest blockchain solution for transportation payments system

o Using new machine learning training software to support improved training and safety on the front lines of our distribution centre and fleet operations with Axonify, a Waterloo based micro-frontline learning company.

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