July 20 (Reuters) - Walmart Canada WMT.N said on the Monday it plans to spend C$3.5 billion ($2.58 billion) over the next five years to strengthen its e-commerce business, as the COVID-19 pandemic prompts a large-scale shift to online shopping.
The Canadian arm of the world's largest retailer also said it would renovate over 150 stores, more than a third of its network, to add more equipment such as shelf scanners, robots and more convenient self check-out options.
Walmart, like many other grocery retailers, has seen a surge in online demand as consumers limit trips outside their homes. The company's online business grew 74% in the first quarter ended April 30.
As part of the investment, Walmart also said it would spend C$1.1 billion on building two new distribution centers and promised to create hundreds of construction and supply chain jobs across Canada.
Walmart Canada added that it would expand in-store pick-up to about 270 stores – or 70% of locations – by end of 2020.
($1 = 1.3567 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
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