First Zellers location reopens as a Walmart


On Thursday, Walmart Canada opened the first of 39 former Zellers locations that will be converted to a Walmart store in Newmarket, Ont.

The 69,000-square-foot store, located some 25 km north of Toronto features: easy-to-navigate aisles with directional signage; a bright interior colour palette to define store’s merchandise areas; and lower shelving to improve sightline.

A pharmacy has also been added to the store.

"This store has an atypical footprint for a Walmart and is much smaller than most of the stores in our network," said Ken Farrell, vice-president of store development at Walmart Canada in a press release. "We worked within the existing footprint to design the store to fit the space and look and feel like a typical Walmart."

The Newmarket East store is one of 73 projects planned for the company's current fiscal year, which will add 4.6 million square feet of retail space to its operations by January 31, 2013.

The 73 projects include building new stores and expanding, remodelling or relocating existing stores and represent an investment of more than $750 million in Canadian communities.

Included in these projects are 39 former Zellers stores.

Ten to 15 Zeller stores will be converted to Supercentres, said Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs, Walmart Canada. She added that the extent of the food offering is limited to dry groceries in the Newmarket store.

Jim Thompson, chief of operations at Walmart Canada, said in the release: " Our goal is to complete the Zellers The conversions as soon as possible to minimize the disruption to former Zellers customers, and the new store team did an outstanding job at our Newmarket location."

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