Walmart Canada president and CEO David Cheesewright is scheduled to speak next week at the Jefferies 2011 Global Consumer Conference near Boston. Walmart doesn’t typically push country presidents on stage at investor conferences except at its own analysts’ meetings when it has hosted events overseas in such places as China earlier this year or prior years in Brazil and the United Kingdom. However there are some interesting things going on in Canada these days, and the Jefferies event is an opportunity for Walmart to showcase some of its management talent.
Target has announced plans to enter Canada via the conversion of acquired Zellers stores with between 100 and 150 stores set to open in 2013. In the meantime, Walmart Canada is in the midst of U.S. style supercenter expansion, relocation and conversion program that includes 40 supercenters during the current fiscal year. The company entered Canada in 1994, but its first supercenter didn’t open until 2006, and now it is full throttle with the conversion process which should be nearly completed by the time Target arrives.
At the end of last year, 124 of the Walmart Canada’s 325 stores were in the supercenter format and with the inclusion of the 40 new units this year, by the end of the year the company expects to have a total of 333 stores including 164 supercenters.
Cheesewright is scheduled to speak at 10:10 a.m. Eastern time and a live webcast of his remarks will be available at Walmartstores.com.