Walmart.ca expects to quadruple the number of SKUs available by the end of 2017 through the marketplace initiative.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will apply the marketplace formula it developed in the U.S. to increase the selection its offers online shoppers in Canada. Walmart Canada says it will launch an online marketplace on Walmart.ca within two months.

“When Walmart.ca Marketplace launches we will double the online product assortment and expect it to quadruple by the end of this year,” says Rick Neuman, executive vice president, technology and e-commerce at Walmart Canada.

Walmart Canada will recruit Canadian merchants to sell on Walmart.ca, and will also discuss with  U.S.-based merchants about selling on the Canadian site, a Walmart Canada spokeswoman says.

Walmart launched the U.S. marketplace in 2009 with just six sellers, and began significantly expanding the number of sellers it allows on Walmart.com in 2014. It relaunched the marketplace in March 2016 and has since aggressively recruited merchants to sell on the platform. Walmart says it now has thousands of sellers on its U.S. marketplace and more than 50 million SKUs listed, up from a couple hundred sellers and 8 million SKUs at the beginning of 2016.

Walmart also operates a marketplace in Brazil and owns a stake in JD.com, a top online marketplace and online retailer in China.

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Internet Retailer estimates sellers on Walmart.com’s U.S. marketplace grossed $19 billion in sales last year, making it the sixth-largest online marketplace in the world as measured by gross merchandise value, according to the Internet Retailer 2017 Global Online Marketplaces Report. It is the third-largest online marketplace in the United States, following the online shopping portals operated by Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc.

Walmart Canada also will introduce buy online, pick up in store service for web purchases in 100 of its 410 Walmart stores in Canada by Christmas. The retailer plans to continue to roll the service out to all stores.

In 2015, Walmart said it would invest C$35 million (US$28.1 million) to expand and improve Walmart.ca, and another C$75 million (US$60.3 million) to build additional distribution centers to expand its fresh food and e-commerce capacity in Canada. Later that year, Walmart Canada introduced Walmart PickUp, which allows consumers to order groceries online and pick them up at several stores in Ottawa. It added the service to consumers in Toronto in 2016 and this year introduced a home delivery option for online grocery orders.

Walmart.ca was the ninth-most popular retail site in Canada, as measured by web traffic, last year, according to the 2017 E-Commerce in Canada Report. Walmart is No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500.

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