Are there Walmarts in Canada

Walmart Canada invests billions in technology

Walmart is responding to pressure from Amazon: In Canada, too, the world's largest retailer will invest 3.5 billion Canadian dollars (2.25 billion euros) mainly in technology. Around a third of this investment will be used to automate distribution centers. In the stores, Walmart also relies on innovative inventory management, additional product information and innovative checkout processes - partly based on computer vision.

Walmart Canada is building two completely new distribution centers, which, interestingly, will be automated by two different, competing European warehouse automation specialists with different approaches to packing warehouse pallets: Witron and Vanderlande.

A 28,000 square meter site in Surrey (British Columbia) is already under construction. It will be fully automated with technology from Witron and should open in 2022.

Another fully automated distribution center with 51,000 square meters is planned in Vaughan (Ontario) and is to be automated by Vanderlande. It is scheduled to go into operation in 2024. It will be equipped with Vanderlande's Storepick automation, which uses robots to pack the store pallets.

Witron, Vanderlande and o9 look forward to orders

Both solutions, both Witron and Vanderlande, enable retailers to pack and order the store pallets exactly as the stores need them in order to fill the shelves as efficiently as possible. Optimized processes in stores are one of the main advantages of this type of warehouse automation, in addition to the fact that machines can lift significantly more weight than people and can be used non-stop day and night.

Walmart explicitly names other technology providers who will support the retail giant in redesigning its logistics:

  • New warehouse management systems that meet the future requirements of both stationary stores and e-commerce
  • Investments in telematics and IoT sensors on over 2,200 truck trailers to get real-time information on the quality and freshness of deliveries
  • Introduction of the software from o9 for more precise forecasting of sales and better planning of stocks
  • Scaling the blockchain platform for transport payments with DLT Labs from Toronto
  • Use of new training software for machine learning to support improved training and safety of employees in distribution centers and vehicle fleets with the Canadian provider Axonify

More product information for customers in the stores

However, Walmart Canada is not only investing heavily in its logistics. The trading company will also bring more customer-centric technology to its stores: Walmart Canada plans to expand the use of electronic shelf price tags and shelf scanners to provide customers with additional information about the products.

How The Retail Optimiser learned, Walmart not only uses these established in-store technologies, but also works with start-ups to optimize the processes in the stores with the help of computer vision. The goal is to minimize the touchpoints for the shoppers and to maximize the efficiency and accuracy of shelf maintenance.

Walmart also announced a “new checkout experience to reduce the number of touchpoints, including tap-to-pay, new larger self-checkouts, and the Check Out With Me” mobile payment technology that enables staff to call customers anywhere in the store to be paid ”.