Wal-Mart Canada Expanding Remote Checkouts

TORONTO -- Wal-Mart is expanding remote checkouts to additional Canadian stores after a successful test at a single unit last year, a corporate executive said yesterday during the company's analysts and institutional investors international meeting here.

TORONTO -- Wal-Mart is expanding remote checkouts to additional Canadian stores after a successful test at a single unit last year, a corporate executive said yesterday during the company's analysts and institutional investors international meeting here. According to Sylvain Prud'homme, senior vice president, operations, for Wal-Mart Canada Corp., the company believes it can have 37 checkouts at the front of a store and 17 at other locations on the floor. "It's important as we open more supercenters to get food customers in and out quickly, and we see a direct payback when customers know we respect their time," he said. In addition, by installing self-checkouts at 80 of its nearly 300 Canadian stores, "we can save money at the front-end that can be reinvested on the sales floor," Prud'homme noted. In another presentation, Mike Huffaker, chief merchandising officer for Wal-Mart Canada, said the company will continue to invest in the Pantry food sections at its discount stores even as it grows the number of Canadian supercenters beyond seven. He said Wal-Mart added 600 new items in the Pantry sections last year and tested new adjacencies based on meal solutions, plus new signage to increase the visibility of the Pantry sections, "and we plan to roll out those new adjacencies and signage across Canada," Huffaker said. -- Elliot Zwiebach