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Wal-Mart Pumps $453.4M Into Canada

Discount giant adding more supercenters as Target enters market.

The discount battle for Canada is heating up.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its division north of the border would spend 450 million Canadian dollars, or $453.4 million, in the coming fiscal year to finish at least 37 supercenters, remodel or relocate doors and beef up its distribution network.

Wal-Mart appears to be playing some defense as  Target Corp. is set to enter the market this year.

“We are ramping up our focus on lowering prices and helping customers lower their cost of living, as we continue to bring our supercenter format to more Canadians,” said Shelley Broader, president and chief executive officer of the Wal-Mart Canada.

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Supercenters carry nearly 100,000 different products, from apparel and electronics to food and medicine.
Wal-Mart will end the current fiscal year on Jan. 31 with 379 stores in Canada, including 209 supercenters. The overall store tally will grow to 388 by the end of January 2014 as the firm adds stores and makes some existing doors larger.

The company is keeping pace with its supercenter expansion of the past few years, which saw 35 to 40 supercenters opened annually.