Wal-Mart to invest C$500 million in Canada, create 7,500 jobs

Wal-Mart Stores said on Tuesday it would invest about C$500 million ($452 million) this year to strengthen its presence in Canada, creating more than 7,500 jobs including construction.

The investments include more than C$376 million for store projects, C$91 million for distribution networks to expand fresh food capability and C$31 million for e-commerce projects.

(Read more: Time to close Wal-Mart stores? Analysts think so)

Wal-Mart's expansion plans comes a week after Target said it would open nine new stores across Canada, adding to the 124 it opened last year.

Over the past year U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target have expanded in Canada, posing a threat to local retailers such as Loblaw, the country's largest grocer, and Empire's Sobeys grocery chain.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Wal-Mart said on Tuesday it planned to complete 35 supercenter projects in Canada by Jan. 31, 2015, adding one million square feet of retail space.

(Read more: Wal-Mart guides 4Q earnings lower)

Wal-Mart's store count in Canada will rise to 395 by the end of January 2015, including 282 supercenters and 113 discount stores, the retailer said.

The locations of stores and distribution center projects will be announced later, the company said.

($1 = 1.11 Canadian dollars)

By Reuters

*This story corrects throughout to change currency to C$ from US$.