Walmart changes game plan for Canada

Walmart is having second thoughts about its master plan for Canada, at least that’s what some of the analysts are saying. According to a recent industry report, the world’s largest retailer is throwing the breaks on its uber-aggressive vision for the Great White North, which involves throwing up a new Superstore behemoth every other month.

Make no mistake: Walmart is still determined to wipe out ma and pa and the rest of Canada’s domestic food retail industry, but the Arkansas-based corporation appears to be switching to a “stealthier” approach to total domination, one that involves quietly inserting a fresh food component to their existing stores

If you’re tempted to give Walmart a gold CSR star for appearing to take its sprawl machine down a notch, hang on. According to the report, the environment – and Walmart’s supposed commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – have nothing to do with its apparent backpedaling on the original Superstore plan.
Walmart is finding out that Canadian retailers aren’t the pushovers they presumed, and Canadian shoppers aren’t as keen to cozy up to Superstores as the Arkansas-based corporation was banking on.  In other words, Walmart seems to be less willing to plow its cash into new stores because it’s not steamrolling over the Canadian marketplace like it thought it would.

For most of us who live and work in Canada, the new Walmart strategy boils down to having fewer ginormous Supercentres in our backyards, but more pre-existing Walmart’s with full grocery stores. That could mean more of us will have to say adios to our neighbourhood butchers, bakers and hometown proud independents – and the essential economic and cultural contributions they all make to our communities – sooner rather than later.
Food for thought as Walmart’s travelling “Green Summit” tour gets ready to roll through Vancouver, where it will surely frame its new Superstore game plan as a proof of its new-found love for Mother Nature.



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