5 Facts About Walmart Canada Legend Valdimar Johnson

Career Path

This store manager is one of Walmart’s biggest fans — and he’s made fans all over Manitoba!

Valdimar standing in front of a wall of photo frames

After 30 years working for Walmart (and 15 years for Woolco before that), Valdimar Johnson has no plans to retire anytime soon. The store manager at Store 3177 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is something of a legend in his community. If you were to walk the store with him, you would probably be stopped often by customers who just want to say hello.

Here are five things to know about this Canadian superstar.

1. Rumor has it that Valdimar may be the longest-serving store manager in Walmart Canada history.

Valdimar started working for Woolco, a subsidiary of Woolworths, in 1979 while he was a university student. He soon entered the management training program and would go on to become a store manager. In 1994, Woolco was sold to Walmart — which opened great opportunity for talented associates like Valdimar.

He was soon transferred to Winnipeg to open the Walmart location on Grant Park in Manitoba. Since then, he’s managed four different Walmart stores across Winnipeg. (He’s also attended every YBM over the last 30 years — and may be the only store manager to do so!)

2. Valdimar is an outspoken ambassador of Walmart culture.

Valdimar’s pride in our company has led him to collect memorabilia from throughout his career, including books, VHS tapes from Children’s Miracle Network events and newspaper articles. He’s also known to regularly quote Sam Walton. Two of his favorite quotes are: “Swim upstream. Go the other way” and “Everything around you is changing. To succeed you need to stay out in front of that change.”

“With Sam's words in mind, I took on challenges that were opposite of my natural comfort zone,” Valdimar explains. “Perhaps hard to believe today, but in our early years in Canada, some people had doubts about our company. When offered the role of local Walmart media contact, I set aside my shy, humble self to stand in front of TV cameras and newspaper reporters to answer their questions and promote the awesome work that we were accomplishing in our communities.”

A collection of a books on a white bookshelf

3. Valdimar exemplifies Walmart’s core values of service, excellence, respect and integrity

Valdimar is so committed to service and excellence that he once went to a customer’s home after the customer complained about the quality of the meat they’d purchased at Walmart.

He also regularly meets with customers to learn how to serve them better. In addition, he’s a strong supporter of national charity campaigns and giving back. In 2023, the Walmart team in Manitoba raised more than $5 million for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

“At my Walmart, we make bold commitments, and we stand by what we say. More often, we exceed expectations,” Valdimar says. “In 1994, we pledged to lower the cost of living for Canadians, and we did just that… My customers gave me credit for the massive reductions and since the customer is always right, I accepted that credit every day! Today, we continue to save people money so they can live better!”

A Walmart charity check hanging on a wall

4. Valdimar has hired thousands of people during his career and serves as a role model for both new and seasoned associates.

“At all new associate orientations, I congratulate them on selecting the best team in Canadian retail,” Valdimar shares. “I encourage my new associates to read Sam's books that I have available and to continue learning new, next-level concepts to improve their skills for their future. Then I always share my stories of giving back to our community and launching local items to assist the small producers in Manitoba.”

5. Valdimar is committed to personal improvement.

“As servant leaders, we must continually develop our leadership skills to stay prepared for the changes our teams will face in the upcoming years,” he says.

Books play a major role in that development. In addition to Sam Walton’s books, Valdimar recommends books by Stephen Covey, including "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," "The Speed of Trust," "First Things First" and "Trust and Inspire."

“To succeed, I recommend a continual self-evaluation to determine the material required for a manager to ensure you are ready for the next challenge.”

wall with framed diplomas and a graduate banner hanging on the wall

With leaders like Valdimar on the Walmart Canada team, it’s clear we’re ready for the next 30 years in the Great White North!

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