June 20 Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Canadian
business named Dirk Van den Berghe as its chief executive,
effective Aug. 1, as it looks to strengthen its food business in
Van den Berghe joins Wal-Mart from supermarket group
Delhaize , where he was CEO for the company's
Belgium and Luxembourg operations.
He succeeds Shelley Broader, who is now CEO of the
retailer's operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and
Canada. Van den Berghe will report to Broader, Wal-Mart Canada
Wal-Mart is facing stiff competition in Canada as home-grown
retailers Loblaw Cos Ltd and Metro Inc as well
as U.S.-based chains such as Target Corp jostle for
bigger slices of the crowded market.
Wal-Mart has said it will invest about C$500 million ($461
million) this year to expand in Canada and plans to add 1
million square feet of retail space.
Wal-Mart Canada operates 391 stores in the country that
serve more than 1.2 million customers every day.
Wal-Mart Stores said last month that comparable sales at
Wal-Mart Canada declined in the first quarter, hurt by weak
sales in its apparel and outdoor business due to an unusually
But sales in food and consumables in the country were strong
and the company increased its market share.
In May, Target fired the president of its money-losing
Canadian operation and named a long-time U.S. executive with
operational experience to try to repair its supply chain woes
and win back customers.
Target Canada's sales have been weak with shoppers
complaining about empty shelves, higher prices and less
selection than at U.S. Target stores, but Target has said it is
acting aggressively to make more rapid improvement in Canada.
Another rival, Sears Holdings Corp is looking to
sell its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada Inc, a move
that could trigger a deal for the entire Canadian operation.
($1 = 1.0853 Canadian Dollars)
(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bangalore)