Walmart Canada opens first converted Zellers store

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — The first of 39 former Zellers stores in Canada celebrated its grand opening as a Walmart store Friday.

According to Walmart Canada, the 69,000 sq. ft. store located in Newmarket, Ontario, will feature easy-to-navigate aisles with directional signage, and a bright interior colour palette, which help define the store's merchandise areas, and lower shelving throughout for an improved sightline. In addition, a pharmacy has been added to the store making it even easier for customers to find everything they need.

"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. "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. The 73 projects are expected to generate more than 14,000 store, trade and construction jobs.