Winnipeg Wal-Mart to be country's first with 24-hour service
Bargain shoppers in Winnipeg will soon be able to indulge their search around the clock at a Wal-Mart store that is to bethe first in the country to open 24 hours a day.
The Arkansas-based retailing giant will open its Garden City location in the city's north end 24 hours a day— with the exception of Sundays— starting in the fall.
Kevin Groh, a spokesman for Wal-Mart in Canada, told CBC News on Wednesday that theWinnipeg market has always responded well to special events where the store has stayed open around the clock for brief periods, such as during the back-to-school or Christmas rushes.
"Winnipeg has always been one of the most enthusiastic retail markets," he said.
That popularity has prompted the company to select the Winnipeg store to test the 24-hour experiment full-time.
"We haven't actually released a concrete date, but it will be this fall," he said.
"We are currently talking to our associates— the people who work in our store— and also the customers to get a sense of what makes sense, but it will be coming soon."
The Sunday closure is a concession to local retail bylaws that restrict most shopping to certain hours on Sundays, andit will also allow the store and staff to regroup once a week, Groh said.
Concerns have not been raised over stressed or overworked staff, he added, noting that in past 24-hour events, the store had more staff volunteer to work overnight shifts than there were shifts to fill.
The company has no plans to expand 24-hour shopping at other stores, Groh said, until it's determined whether the Winnipeg store is a success.
"Ultimately, this is about serving our customers," he said.
Many of the company's stores in the United States are already open 24 hours a day.