Wal-Mart Scaling Back Free Shipping to Shoppers in Canada

U.S. retailers continue to make life more difficult for Canadian shoppers.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., citing rising costs, is ending free home shipping on April 2 for orders of less than C$50 ($39.41) before taxes. Home delivery under that price will cost C$4.97. Deliveries to a “Grab & Go” locker at a store or to a post office will remain free, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said.

“Shipping is very expensive in Canada,” Alex Roberton, Wal-Mart’s director of corporate affairs, said in an e-mail Monday. “As a result of the rapid growth of Walmart.ca, we are now at a point where it is necessary to apply variable shipping fees, which we are working to do in a fair and democratic way.”

The move follows Target Corp.’s decision to close its stores in the country. Best Buy Co. also said over the weekend that it will close 66 of its Future Shop electronics stores and rebrand the remaining 65 under its own name. Retail chains such as Target and Wal-Mart expanded in Canada in the last several years on signs of faster growth than in the U.S., following its housing market collapse.

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