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Walmart Canada Attracts Affluent Shoppers

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — The longer the economy in Canada remains unsettled, the more Wal-Mart Stores believes it is attracting more affluent customers, David Cheesewright, chief executive officer for Walmart Canada, said here, according to local reports.

"That more affluent customer might not shop everything at Walmart," Cheesewright told a local newspaper, "but when they come in to buy their detergent, they are quite surprised [by the assortment]. The longer the market remains unsettled, the more we are going to see that customer, who had maybe started to head back to the malls ... come back to value."

Walmart Canada upgraded its price auditing system last year and measures approximately 120,000 prices a week against rival supermarkets, Cheesewright said. The company is adding grocery departments at 40 discount stores this year, with close to half of Walmart's 333 Canadian stores expected to have a grocery section by year's end, he noted.