Wal-Mart plans supercenters for Western Canada

Toronto Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday it plans to open its first supercenters in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, according to a report from Reuters.

The retailer will open two of the big-format stores; both 185,000-sq.-ft. stores are slated to open in Regina and Saskatoon in early 2010.

Analysts said the move into the largely agricultural-based province will heighten competition among existing grocers.

"It definitely will make them sharper on their price points if they are not there already, but I don't think that overall it does anything to the companies just because obviously they have been competing with Wal-Mart for several years now and it is nothing new there," Brian Yarbrough, a retail analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis told Reuters.

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart said it planned to spend C$115 million ($104.4 million) to build a 400,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Balzac, Alberta. The facility is expected to open in late 2010 and act as a distribution hub for fresh food in Western Canada.

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