On Oct. 22, Walmart Supercentre opened at Kingsway Mall.
According to a Walmart press release, “We are very excited to welcome Walmart to Kingsway this fall,” says Susan Lovie, director and general manager of Kingsway Mall. “This Walmart will be a significant addition to the area and opens a new chapter in the development of Kingsway. We are always excited to welcome retailers that help us better serve the needs of our community, and know that Walmart offers the products and convenience that our customers look for. It will greatly add to the best-in-class shopping experience we offer at Kingsway.”
Aisan Khan, store manager, adds, “Edmontonians will appreciate the wide assortment of fresh produce available and many international food options to serve this diverse community. The Supercentre is more modern and spacious than the previous location. Our associates are thrilled with the move and we are very excited to serve our valued customers in central Edmonton.”
Walmart has established a stronghold in the Canadian retail market for several years. Many people love to shop at Walmart because of its variety and affordable pricing.
Faith Sereti, an Alberta Avenue resident, was delighted about the opening of the new location. “The new Walmart at Kingsway Mall is amazing. I remember when it was still under construction, my kids and I were very excited and could not wait for the day that it would open. One morning while dropping off my kids to school, we passed the Walmart and my son Liam yelled, ‘Mommy, look! Our new Walmart is now open,’” says Sereti. She adds that on her way home, she stopped at the Walmart to shop and explore.
Sereti also states, “Ever since then, we have been shopping in that Walmart every time. We love the huge selection in Walmart, including a whole aisle for international foods. We always choose to shop there because it is very close to our house and we can walk there when the weather is warm. I also love shopping there because other than what I need from Walmart, I can run other errands in the mall at the same time. With this new Walmart, I am sure there will be more people visiting the mall and other businesses around the mall.”
Residents living in close proximity to the mall also shared similar sentiments. Cassandra Strawberryy says, “I went to the grand opening. It was quite busy, but I am happy to not have to go all the way to [the] Clareview Walmart to get things I need from there. I still prefer Superstore, but prices at Walmart for certain things are more affordable. I’m glad I have the close options of a Superstore and Walmart right there, though.”
Some residents say this location does not live up to their expectations because of limited stock availability and poor layout of the store. “I shopped there twice and noticed the prices are more expensive than other Walmarts; canned Clover Leaf chicken was almost $4 each, where it’s often three for $6 at other locations,” says Cynthia Hasenbein.
Other residents would rather spend their money at local stores. Erick Estrada, executive director of Alberta Avenue Business Association says, “In the Avenue, we have options to buy unique items from all corners of the world, and there is not a single retailer that has as many options as the combined variety of ethnic convenience and grocery stores in the Avenue.”
Estrada continues, “When people choose to buy in the Avenue, they are supporting their neighbours, and those shop owners are on their end, supporting their hometown communities. For example, if you walk into Pho King today, you will see a poster of their campaign to support kids in Vietnam. People who buy in the Avenue know that they are supporting locals who make a global impact.”
Caroline Lanigan, a local resident says, “I do not support Walmart and shop there only when absolutely necessary. Its business model has destroyed small-town shopping throughout North America, a now historical fact, which I cannot support for our future economy. Plus, Canada is overrun with American businesses, which will destroy Canadian autonomy in a myriad of ways. I can only hope Walmart goes the way of the Target in Canada.”
Customers have different needs and while Walmart may offer value to many, it is simply not everyone’s preference. One thing is sure: its traffic will no doubt have a positive impact on Kingsway Mall.