(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s (WMT.N) Canadian unit is offering discounts on more than 10,000 products starting Friday, aiming to build sale momentum and market share ahead of its aggressive expansion and next year’s arrival of Target Corp.
The discounts - available on apparel, electronics, health and wellness products, hardware and home merchandise - will run through July, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
It includes cutting prices on about 3,000 grocery-store items from dry goods to fresh produce.
Walmart Canada has been converting many of its outlets to “supercenters,” which sell a wider array of grocery items than regular stores, along with general merchandise.
The world’s largest retailer, which entered the Canadian market in 1994, has more than 330 locations nationwide.
By January 2013, it aims to finish work on 73 projects, including opening new stores, and expanding, remodeling or relocating existing ones.
It is scheduled to complete the expansion before the long-awaited arrival of Target Corp (TGT.N), Walmart’s biggest discount rival in the United States, in spring of 2013.
Target’s imminent entry into Canada has sent domestic retailers scrambling to protect their share of a multi-billion-dollar market.
Earlier this week, Walmart Canada announced a hiring spree to fill 4,000 new jobs needed for its expansion.
Wal-Mart’s “Rollback” sales are not uncommon, offering further discounts on top of the company’s mantra of “everyday low prices.” But Walmart Canada said the current monthly campaign is “by far the largest” in its 18-year history.
Mississauga, Ontario-based Walmart Canada claims that nine out of 10 Canadians shop at its stores, with 1.1 million customers a day.
Reporting by Maneesha Tiwari in Bangalore and Claire Sibonney in Toronto; Editing by Frank McGurty