Wal-Mart Canada to close six Ontario Sam's Club locations to focus on supercentre expansion

    Company confirms opening of 26 additional supercentres in 2009

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Wal-Mart Canada will discontinue its
Ontario Sam's Club format in March to focus on its popular and expanding
supercentre format and discount-store business. Today's announcement will
affect the company's six Sam's Club locations in Pickering, Vaughan, Richmond
Hill, London, Cambridge and Etobicoke.
    The company announced today the opening of a further 26 Wal-Mart
supercentres to be unveiled this year in Canada including expansions of
existing stores, relocations, and new stores. This will bring the number of
Canadian supercentres to 82 and Wal-Mart Canada's overall store count to 316
by the end of the year.
    "Customer response to our supercentres has been very strong," said David
Cheesewright, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Canada. "Today's announcement will
allow us to focus our resources on growing this popular one-stop format at a
time when Canadians are relying on Wal-Mart more than ever to help them save
money during challenging economic times."
    Wal-Mart Canada confirmed it is in discussions with a major US retailer
to purchase Wal-Mart's interest in five of the Ontario Sam's Club locations.
The purchase would include all but the Cambridge location.
    "Despite our best efforts and the commendable work of our Sam's Club
associates, our six Clubs have not met our expectations," said Cheesewright.
    Wal-Mart is taking steps to try and minimize the amount of job loss among
the 1,200 Sam's Club associates. While the company does not have immediate
positions for the majority of the affected associates, Wal-Mart will hold
internal job fairs over the coming days to connect affected associates to job
opportunities in existing Wal-Mart stores in areas surrounding the Sam's Club
    "We are hopeful many associates will obtain jobs in other areas of our
business and expect the number of associates ultimately affected to be
significantly less than 1,200," said Cheesewright. "Our goal is to ensure all
affected associates are treated with care, respect, and dignity."
    In addition, Wal-Mart's supercentre expansion in Canada later this year
will represent an investment of more than $400 million in Canadian communities
and will generate an estimated 5,000 new store jobs as well as 5,000
construction jobs. Supercentre locations will be confirmed over the coming

    About Wal-Mart Canada

    Wal-Mart Canada operates a growing network of 312 stores nationwide
serving more than one million customers each day. With close to 80,000
associates the company is Canada's fourth largest employer. Wal-Mart donates
and raises more than $400,000 every week to Canadian charities and is the
country's largest corporate donor to The Children's Miracle Network, The
Breakfast Clubs of Canada, and The Canadian Red Cross.

For further information:

For further information: Andrew Pelletier, Vice-President of Corporate
Affairs, Wal-Mart Canada Corp., (905) 821-2111, ext. 4585

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