Walmart Canada To Enter E-Commerce Food Battle

Walmart Canada Corp. (NYSE:WMT) plans to start selling food online in Canada, allowing it to compete more effectively with rival Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) in the country.

Walmart already sells food via its web site in the U.S. and other countries, but recently began selling non-perishable goods online in Canada. Next, the massive global retailer will consider expanding into fresh and frozen grocery offerings in Canada. "We are talking to our customers to understand what they need beyond" non-refrigerated packaged goods, Walmart Canada spokesperson Susan Schutta told The Globe and Mail.

Food e-commerce makes up a minute proportion of the grocery sales in Canada – a fraction of 1 percent – but could grow tenfold by 2025, according to consultancy Booz & Co.

In addition to Amazon, Walmart's online expansion is likely to impact Toronto, Ont.-based Grocery Gateway, which was struggling when it was purchased in 2004 by Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc. Now in the black, Grocery Gateway plans to take on bigger rivals such as Walmart by focusing on its core strength of higher-margin fresh foods, said Stephen Tallevi, general manager of Grocery Gateway, told The Globe and Mail.

Despite its renewed grocery e-commerce efforts in Canada, Walmart generally "drives prices down. We see them as a serious competitor," Tallevi said.

For more:

-See this Globe and Mail article

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