An autonomous floor cleaner now carries a camera to gather data on product features to share with a FAST Unloader system in the back room that prioritizes items for restocking.
Walmart Inc. has issued its 2019 Annual Report along with CEO Doug McMillon's annual shareholder letter, in which he reviewed Walmart’s embrace of change and the retail technology helping to push it forward.
The report revealed the retailer's total revenue grew 3% to $514.4 billion in worldwide sales in the latest fiscal year. Walmart U.S. grew comp sales its highest annual growth rate in a decade — 3.6% (excluding fuel) — and e-commerce sales skyrocketed 40%, nearly doubling digital sales over the past two years.
McMillon detailed how Walmart has implemented retail technology to evolve the business rapidly in-line with changing consumer preferences, but noted the tech empowers associates rather than replacing them. He addresses advancements in mobile technology and automation and improvements with associate education and efficiency.
“The ways we can use technology today and in the future are exciting, but our business is still a people business,” McMillon said in the letter. “We are people-led and tech-empowered, and that makes investing in our associates a strategic priority.”
McMillon, who has been at the helm of Walmart for five years now, also noted “the pace and magnitude of our changes are critical to the company’s future as we adapt to an environment that is changing more quickly all the time. We are changing how we work and what we do without changing our purpose and our values.”
Here are the key ways Walmart has implemented retail technology, according to McMillon’s letter: