For the first time Wal-Mart Canada stores add authentic merchandise to help Asian customers ring in the new year

    Retailer offers Asian customers convenient one-stop shopping for
    authentic Chinese New Year items and ongoing specialized product

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - For some Canadians the holiday season is
a distant memory but for many Asian Canadians the festivities are just
beginning with the start of Chinese New Year on February 7. For the first
time, Wal-Mart Canada plans to help customers celebrate by offering convenient
one-stop shopping for traditional Chinese New Year items at select stores
nationally. The company is also carrying Asian specialty items on an ongoing
basis in several locations.
    These initiatives are part of Wal-Mart Canada's "Store of the Community"
program, guided by a dedicated team of Wal-Mart Canada merchants who use AC
Neilsen and Census data to identify multicultural population clusters around
stores and to tailor merchandise selection to the specific needs of local
communities and customers.
    "This year Wal-Mart Canada is supporting Asian Canadian customers and
communities in a big way by offering them unique and specialized Chinese New
Year items during the celebration of this important holiday," says Jim
Pilkington, Store of the Community divisional merchandise manager, Wal-Mart
Canada. "We're pleased to be able to help bring these authentic specialty
Asian items to more and more families this year."

    Chinese New Year

    For the first time, Wal-Mart Canada will carry traditional Chinese New
Year food, greeting cards, decorations, housewares and entertainment items in
20 stores nationally.
    Fifty-one stores will carry the first-ever Wal-Mart Canada "Year of the
Rat" Chinese New Year gift card, which features a themed design with English
and traditional Chinese characters.
    Wal-Mart Canada's Chinese New Year decorations are the same as those
carried in Wal-Mart stores in China, including traditional and authentic
couplets, ornaments, lanterns, posters, paper cut outs and banners. Also for
sale is a Year of the Rat plush toy commissioned by Wal-Mart Canada. Live
orchids, mini-roses, lucky bamboo, azaleas as well as orange and money trees
are available for the holiday period.
    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 plates.

    Long-Term Focus on Asian Specialty Items

    Seven Wal-Mart Canada stores are offering a continuous and expanded
selection of authentic Asian items as well as products geared to or favoured
by the Asian community.
    "As the number of Asian customers shopping with us grows, Wal-Mart is
dedicated to offering them the convenience, distinct products and everyday low
prices they're looking for," adds Pilkington. "Our stores can be a one-stop
shop every day and not only during the Chinese New Year."
    In participating stores, customers will find a higher number of small
sizes in women's and men's apparel, an assortment of Asian newspapers,
everyday greeting cards, a wider variety of teas and Asian-specific
housewares. Stores will carry a wider assortment of martial arts DVDs as well
as jade and beaded jewellery. In the produce section, Asian pears, pomellos,
baby bok choy and other Asian-specific items will be available.
    Wal-Mart Canada has developed the Triumph Petite Bras collection, in
consultation with counterparts at Wal-Mart China, which is geared specifically
towards the Asian community. Stores are also carrying a higher number of
Asian-preferred North American hair colour brands with darker colours featured
more prominently. Other specialty brands and products include Hello Kitty, Mum
Mums Baby Cookies, Pocky snacks, Tao Ti Beverages and O'Naomi Hair among
    In Wal-Mart Canada's Markham location, store signage is shown in English
and traditional Chinese characters. Associates also wear badges to let
customers know they can be assisted in 12 languages.

    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 298 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:

For further information: Karin Campbell, Corporate Affairs, Wal-Mart
Canada, (905) 821-2111 x4042

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