From Woolco to Walmart: Celebrating 25 Years in Canada

March 18, 2019

1 Min. Read

MISSISSAUGA, March 18, 2019 – Walmart Canada today celebrates its 25th anniversary operating in Canada, a major milestone for the world’s largest retailer. Walmart opened its first Canadian stores after acquiring the 122-store Woolco division of Woolworth Canada in 1994. Since then, the retailer has built a network of 410 stores, employing more than 85,000 associates, and serving more than 1.2 million customers across the country, every day. In 2011, Walmart Canada launched its flagship online store, Walmart.ca, which is visited by more than 750,000 customers daily.

“It’s been 25 outstanding years for Walmart in Canada and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve Canadian families,” said Lee Tappenden, president and CEO, Walmart Canada. “We have built a strong history in Canada – supporting local children’s hospitals, providing disaster relief support and tackling issues like hunger and waste. We are proud to employ a diverse workforce as one of the country’s largest employers and look forward to a bright future in Canada.”

Giving back to Canadian communities
Walmart Canada's extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need and the company’s mission to help people live better extends far beyond the physical walls of its stores. The retailer has formed impactful partnerships with non-profit organizations, including the Breakfast Club of Canada, Canadian Red Cross, Children’s Miracle Network, and Food Banks Canada. Notable figures on Walmart Canada’s philanthropy include:

The retailer has raised and donated $350 million for Canadian non-profit organizations
On average, $35,000, has been raised and donated for Canadian charities each day that Walmart has operated in Canada
Walmart has donated 16 million pounds of surplus food – the equivalent of 16 million meals – to food banks and food recovery organizations across the country

Walmart Canada’s community giving program aims to strengthen ties to the communities where Walmart operates, with philanthropic initiatives designed to have a national scope and local impact.

Improving plastic and food waste reduction
Walmart Canada is taking a leadership role on waste reduction, building on business and philanthropic initiatives to eliminate waste and relieve hunger that have been underway since 2005. The company is focused on reducing waste across its operations, including ambitious commitments around plastic and food waste reduction. Milestone sustainability commitments include:

Send zero waste to landfill by 2025, 87 per cent of waste at Walmart Canada is currently diverted from landfill
Achieve 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for its private brand products by 2025
Reduce check-out plastic bags by a further 50 per cent by 2025, taking approximately 1 billion check-out bags out of circulation over that period
100 per cent alternatively powered fleet vehicles by 2028

Walmart Canada fun facts:
Walmart Canada is recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most influential brands
Walmart Canada serves approximately the equivalent of the Canadian population every month in its stores
More than 80 per cent of Canadian households shop at Walmart
60 per cent of Canadians live within a 10-minute drive of a Walmart store
It is estimated that 1 in 43 Canadians has worked for Walmart Canada at some point
Two babies were born in Walmart Canada stores; a baby girl in the Saint-Hyacinthe store in Quebec and a baby girl in Toronto’s Dufferin Mall store

Distinctly Canadian experience
Walmart Canada has become part of Canadian life – this is exemplified by the number of iconic Canadian products sold over the past 25 years. Here are some highlights (numbers are approximate):

275 million Canadian apples*
70 million butter tarts*
68 million bags of all dressed chips
63 million bags of ketchup chips
10 million bottles of Canadian maple syrup
5 million packages of Canadian blueberries*
750,000 Nanaimo bars*
* Since Walmart Canada introduced fresh groceries in 2006

About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of 410 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. Walmart Canada's flagship online store, Walmart.ca is visited by more than 750,000 customers daily. With more than 85,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is ranked one of the country's top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada's extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $350 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca, facebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/walmartcanada.