02/07/2012 09:27 EST

Walmart Canada Remodelling, New Stores To Cost $750 Million This Year

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MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Walmart Canada plans to spend more than $750 million over the next year to open, relocate or remodel 73 retail stores, including former Zellers locations.

The world's biggest retailer said Tuesday the initiative will create more than 14,000 jobs when factoring in store employees, as well as trade and construction jobs.

Included on the list of stores are 39 Zellers stores that Walmart purchased last year.

Walmart 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.

The company plans to open 125 to 135 stores.

Target 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.

Walmart operates 333 stores in Canada, which includes 164 supercentres.