The Zellers in the Gloucester City Centre is one of 39 locations across the country for which Wal-Mart Canada purchased leasehold rights in June 2011.
Spokesperson Alex Roberton said the Canadian branch of the U.S. retail giant will open 47 hiring centres across the country as it adds a total of approximately 4,000 new employees this year and next, about 500 more than previously announced.
One of those hiring centres will be in Ottawa, at the Wal-Mart located at 3900 Innes Rd.
By the end of 2013, the company expects to spend nearly $750 million to open, relocate or remodel 73 stores.
Announcements for other brand new stores will be made later on in the year, Mr. Roberton said. He would not yet say if any will be in the National Capital Region, but a new Wal-Mart is currently under construction in Kanata’s new Fernbank community.
Mr. Roberton said the chain is “looking to hear” from former Zellers employees, whose experience would be taken into consideration.
“We decided on a democratic approach so we're looking at everybody the same way, but with the Zellers employees, they're all being interviewed,” he said.
In addition to the permanent jobs, the various projects are expected to generate some 10,500 construction jobs.
“We are extremely excited to be adding more than 4,000 new associates to our team,” said Bob Hakeem, senior vice-president of people at Wal-Mart Canada.
Wal-Mart Canada pharmacies are also in the midst of a significant hiring phase.
“We have already hired many pharmacy associates that previously worked for Zellers and are looking to fill additional positions,” said Eric Muir, senior vice-president of health and wellness at Wal-Mart Canada.
The company has already hired 900 employees this year, from sales associates to managers in its stores across the country, to field operations and home office positions.
Already one of Canada's largest employers, it plans to hire an additional 3,100 workers by the end of 2013, raising its overall Canadian payroll to 94,000.
Wal-Mart said more than half of the 73 projects will become supercentres, which offer an array of groceries as well as general merchandise. The retailer opened its first Canadian supercentres in Ontario in 2006 and has since ramped up expansion plans for the large-store concept.
The expansion comes as competition in the Canadian retail market heats up with the entry of fellow discount retailer Target next year.
Target plans to open 125 to 135 stores, six of which are in Ottawa. It has purchased the leasehold interests of 189 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc. and it says about $10 million to $11 million will be invested to remodel each facility.
- With files from the Canadian Press