Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has brought its Supercenter concept north of the border, opening three locations ranging from 160,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet in the towns of Stouffville, London and Ancaster — all located in the province of Ontario. It plans to open 14 more during 2007.

Wal-Mart's entry into the Canadian grocery market is expected to shake the industry, much as it has in the United States. Already, Canadian grocers Loblaw and Sobeys have talked of improving supply chains to try and compete with the behemoth.

Canadian developers, meanwhile, have welcomed the move and are anticipating sales boosts by adding the Supercenters to their property portfolios.

“What this supercenter format, I think, will do is increase sales across the board in our centers for all tenants because of the traffic that's going to be there,” Calloway REIT CEO Simon Nyilassy said in an interview with the Canadian press. “All those increased sales will translate into an increased ability for Calloway to generate better rents.”