Sunday November 14, 2010


For The Record

Reader: Chilliwack's Walmart isn't the biggest in BC

Submitted by Travis Sullivan


our article posted Nov 12, 2010, incorrectly states that the Eagle Landing Walmart Supercentre is the largest in BC. This is not the case, as the Walmart at Grandview corners in South Surrey is 215,000 sq ft. The Walmart that opened June 10 in Victoria is 216,000 sq ft. This is in addition to the 172,000 sq foot Supercentre in Westbank and Duncan's 156,000 sq foot centre....Just thought you might like to be accurate in your reporting as I do enjoy your work. TS.


Editorial Supplement

On Friday, the Voice reported that the new Walmart Supercentre at Eagle Landing was the largest in BC. According to an e-mail we received from reader Travis Sullivan we got our facts wrong. The Supercentre is only 155,000 sq. ft. while the Victoria Walmart is 216,000 sq. ft.

This lead to an chase of store square footage numbers and which proved to be illusive and we failed miserably to come up with any more than a couple. So thanks to Travis for this information and for taking the time to correct the Voice.

We then took it upon ourselves to find out a little more about Walmart and we came up with some interesting notes about the company for all you Walmartphiles.

First off, it's important to spell the store's name correctly. In 1962 there was no hypen in the word Walmart. In 1964, a hyphen was added to read Wal-Mart and that was used until 1992 when a star replaced the hyphen. In 2008, the star was removed from the logo and an embellishment placed at the end of the word.

It's all about hypermarketing these days. A hypermarket is a superstore which combines a supermarket and a department store. The result is a very large retail facility which carries an enormous range of products under one roof, including full lines of groceries and general merchandise. In theory, hypermarkets allow customers to satisfy all their routine shopping needs in one trip.

In 1962, Sam Walton opened the first Walmart discount store in Rogers, Arkansas. Currently, there are 723 stores across the United States. The size of an average store is 108,000 square feet and each has about 225 employees in their Discount Stores.

                                                 Business Week photo.

Believe it or not, Wal-Mart has been shrinking its supercenters to about 150,000 square feet from 195,000 square feet. But the company has maintained that it plans to use smaller formats in urban markets. A typical Wal-Mart discount department store ranges in size from 51,000 to 150,000 square feet

Worldwide, Walmart serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,692 stores under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide.

In 2010, Wal-Mart operated 3,121 international locations, an increase of 991 stores compared to a year earlier. Altogether, the international business generated $100 billion in revenue in 2010, a 1.3% increase from 2009 sales.

Discount Stores

There are 723 Discount stores across the United States. The size of an average store is 108,000 square feet. Each store employs about 225 associates.



There are 2,882 Supercenters nationwide in the US, and most are open 24 hours. Supercenters average 185,000 square feet and employ about 350 or more associates.


Neighbourhood/Marketside Stores

In 2008, Wal-Mart has been testing smaller stores called Marketside which are small community pilot grocery stores who's focus is on fresh food. At present nearly 200 Neighborhood Market by Walmart stores are operating in the US. The stores offer pharmacy, beauty, stationary and pet supplies and are about 42,000 square feet. Neighborhood Markets offer a quick and convenient shopping at Walmart prices.

Since their acquisition of 122 Woolco stores, Walmart Canada reports that they are currently operating more than 300 stores across Canada and employing 82,000 people. In 2006, they launched the first Supercentre

In Alberta, a new freezer storage came in at 400,000 sq. ft. According to a recent news release, "Walmart Canada announced the opening of its first sustainable fresh food distribution centre, a state-of-the-art facility that will be an estimated 60% more energy-efficient than the company's traditional refrigerated centres and that will help the company avoid approximately $4.8 million in energy costs over five years. One of North America's most energy-efficient distribution centres, the Balzac facility is a living lab of sustainability and includes the company's first pilots of hydrogen fuel cells, solar thermal and wind power, as well as many other sustainability features and products."

"The facility's refrigeration system uses ammonia as a coolant rather than ozone-depleting Freon. This results in a system that is 33 per cent more energy-efficient than a traditional Freon system. Designed with a demand-response capability, the refrigeration system is also able to draw electricity during off-peak grid times. Waste heat from the system is used to keep the sub-floor frost-free in the winter. Using smart refrigeration will help avoid an estimated $2 million in costs over five years."

The company's Sam's Club segment offers merchandise, including hard goods, soft goods, and selected private-label items through warehouse membership clubs in the United States, as well as through

As of January 31, 2010, 596 Sam's Clubs in the United States; 43 units in Argentina, 434 in Brazil, 317 in Canada, 252 in Chile, 170 in Costa Rica, 77 in El Salvador, 164 in Guatemala, 53 in Honduras, 1 in India, 371 in Japan, 1,469 in Mexico, 55 in Nicaragua, 56 in Puerto Rico, and 371 in the United Kingdom, as well as 279 stores in the Peoples Republic of China.

In another release the company said that "Walmart Canada continues to pursue the company’s three global sustainability goals: to be supplied by 100% renewable energy, produce zero waste and sell merchandise that sustains people and the environment. In September 2008, Walmart Canada implemented a zero-waste program in its home office. In 2009, Walmart Canada opened its first environmental demonstration store and its first high-efficiency (HE) store. Through Walmart Canada’s For the Greener Good program, today we have more than 1,000 environmentally responsible products on our shelves."