By  on November 9, 2006

MONTREAL — After opening its first three Canadian megastores on Wednesday, Wal-Mart Canada announced plans to launch 17 supercenters by the end of next year. Four Ontario supercenters are to open next year, and locations for the others have yet to be decided.

The three newest stores range between 165,000 square feet and 200,000 square feet and carry 120,000 products, more than their U.S. counterparts.

Company spokeswoman Christy Gallagher said the stores are different from U.S. supercenters: "When you walk through the entrance, you can see the entire profile of the store, so you don't have to look up and down aisles to find what you're looking for. We've also made the shopping experience easier with much wider aisles."

The new stores also feature ShopCast, an in-store television network that will be in all 280 Canadian Wal-Marts by the end of next summer. The flat-screen TVs suspended from the ceiling by the cash registers play one of the network's nine channels, featuring Wal-Mart clothing, fashion shows, corporate messages and commercials of brands sold in the stores.

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