Wal-Mart Canada helps customers celebrate Chinese New Year

Company gives Asian customers one-stop shopping on an expanded range of
    specialty Chinese New Year merchandiseMISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - With Chinese New Year on January 26,
Wal-Mart Canada is providing its customers with one-stop shopping for
specialty Chinese New Year merchandise. Due to the success of its inaugural
program last year, the company has expanded the number of stores carrying
Chinese New Year merchandise and substantially expanded the selection to
include specialty jewellery and apparel, in addition to a greater range of
decorations, housewares and food.
    The initiative is part of Wal-Mart Canada's "Store of the Community"
program, which ensures stores stock merchandise that reflects the unique
characteristics of local communities and customers. The program is guided by a
dedicated team of Wal-Mart Canada merchants who use AC Neilsen and Census data
to identify multicultural population clusters and traits around stores in
order to tailor merchandise selection. In various store locations across
Canada, demographic data shows that as many as 38 per cent of local customers
are of Asian heritage.
    "We're pleased to once again provide our Asian customers with one-stop
shopping and everyday low prices for all their Chinese New Year needs," said
Jim Pilkington, Wal-Mart Canada's Store of the Community divisional
merchandise manager. "This is an important holiday for many of our customers
and, it's clear from our experience last year, that they want us to help them
celebrate with an even greater selection of authentic and specialty
merchandise."

    Specialty and Authentic Merchandise

    Up to 36 stores nationally will carry specialty food, greeting cards,
decorations, apparel, housewares and entertainment items to celebrate Chinese
New Year. For the first time, 21 stores are carrying authentic jade jewellery
including a Year of the Ox amulet. Select stores are carrying traditional
festive dresses to celebrate Chinese New Year under Wal-Mart Canada's Black
Koi collection, a line of fashionable clothing designed specifically for
petite customers, 5' 3" or under, with tailoring suited specifically to Asian
body types.
    Wal-Mart Canada has commissioned its own plush toy for the Year of the
Ox, which is available in all participating stores. Ninety-three stores across
Canada are carrying Wal-Mart Canada's Year of the Ox Chinese New Year gift
card, which features a themed design with English and traditional Chinese
characters.
    Stores have an expanded selection of decorations including lanterns,
ornaments, couplets, posters, paper cutouts and banners. These decorations
were selected from those carried by Wal-Mart stores in China. The assortment
of live plants has also increased to include jasmine and pussy willow plants,
in addition to orchids, money trees, mini-roses, lucky bamboo, azaleas and
orange trees.
    Specialty food items include soy milk products, tofu, jasmine rice,
noodles and sauces as well as authentic hot and cold beverages. For authentic
food preparation, stores are offering chop sticks, utensils, rice cookers,
steamers, electric kettles, hot water dispensers, woks, hot pots and
dinnerware.

    Long-Term Focus on Asian Specialty Items

    Wal-Mart Canada carries Asian specialty items on an ongoing basis in
several locations. These stores carry a greater number of small sizes in
women's and men's apparel, an assortment of Asian newspapers, everyday
greeting cards in Chinese characters, a wider variety of teas and
Asian-specific housewares, food and entertainment items. They also carry
authentic Asian products including Mum Mums Baby Cookies, Pocky snacks, Tiger
rice cookers and water dispensers, FruTips candy, Tao Ti Beverages and Bigen
products, among others.
    "We're dedicated to bringing our growing number of Asian customers the
distinct products, everyday low prices and convenience they're looking for,"
added Pilkington. "They can expect one-stop shopping and great prices from
Wal-Mart not only on Chinese New Year but every day."
    In recent months, the company has launched several Store of the Community
programs geared to its Asian and South Asian customers. Most recently, the
company launched a line of authentic South Asian women's clothing, called
Bollywood Signature, and a line of fashionable apparel for the petite Asian
customer called Black Koi. Customer response has been so positive to the
initial rollouts that the company has launched follow-up collections for both.

    About Wal-Mart Canada

    Founded in 1994 and based in Mississauga, Ontario, Wal-Mart Canada serves
more than one million Canadians each day at its 318 outlets. With more than
70,000 associates, the company is one of Canada's largest employers. Launched
in 2006, Wal-Mart Canada's Store of the Community program allows stores across
the country to reflect the individual communities and neighbourhoods they
serve. AC Neilsen and Census data is used to identify population clusters and
to focus hiring, support of local groups and charities as well as merchandise
on the specific needs of the communities Wal-Mart Canada's stores serve.
Underpinning this program is a belief that to be successful stores must
understand the customers they serve. The Store of the Community program has
grown significantly since its inception and is supported by a dedicated team
of professionals who work hard to understand and meet unique market and
consumer needs on behalf of Wal-Mart Canada.




For further information: specific store locations and image requests
please contact: Karin Campbell, Corporate Affairs, Wal-Mart Canada, (905)
821-2111 x4042