Walmart planning superstore in Courtenay

Courtenay's Walmart is being eyed as a supercentre.

The City of Courtenay has received an application to expand the Walmart at the Anfield Shopping Centre to include a large grocery section and extend and enclose the garden centre.

Courtenay’s Walmart is being eyed as a supercentre.

The City of Courtenay has received an application to expand the Walmart at the Anfield Shopping Centre to include a large grocery section and extend and enclose the garden centre.

The application has not gone before council but is expected to in early September.

The existing Walmart is 106,585 square feet, and the total area would be 135,295 square feet after the expansion, according to the documents at City Hall.

A 28,710-square-foot grocery section is being proposed to extend into the land that Walmart leases beside Staples currently being used for parking, while plans also include extending and enclosing the garden centre, creating a second entrance at the front of the store and constructing one new loading bay.

Courtenay planning technician Erin Ferguson says the Walmart expansion has been a possibility since the development began 10 years ago.

“It was always in the works from the initial development permit that was approved,” she said. “When they designed the whole complex, they always considered that Walmart might expand in the future.”

In its application, Walmart has included a contribution toward street trees, noted Ferguson.

Walmart Canada announced in late January that it planned to open 40 supercentres and expand the supercentre format into two new provinces — Manitoba and Quebec — in the company’s next fiscal year, which runs from Feb. 1, 2011, to Jan. 31, 2012.

The projects, which will include building new stores and expanding, remodelling or relocating existing stores,  represent an investment of more than half a billion dollars in Canadian communities, according to Walmart, which noted the supercentres are expected to generate more than 9,200 store and construction jobs.

Walmart Canada’s supercentre format, which was first launched in Ontario in 2006 and is available in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, provides a full range of groceries and general merchandise under one roof.

As of Jan. 31, Walmart Canada operates 325 stores across the country, 124 of which are supercentres. By the end of January 2012, Walmart is expected to have 333 stores in Canada, including 164 supercentres and 169 discount stores.

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