Walmart Amplifies Digital Elements in Store Redesign

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman
A Queer Eye QR code in this display allows customers to discover more products.

Walmart’s next phase of its store redesign will incorporate QR codes and digital screens to “create opportunities for digital exploration.”

The new store experience, which Walmart calls “Time Well Spent,” can be viewed at its incubator store in Springdale, AK. In September 2020, Walmart revealed the first phase of its store redesign that was focused on navigation and wayfinding. 

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we now have close to 1,000 stores renovated with this new design to help customers save time in finding what they need,” Alvis Washington, VP of marketing - store design, innovation and experience said.

Walmart’s next iteration focuses on making the retailer a destination where customers want to spend their time. To accomplish this Walmart is amplifying the physical, human and digital design elements in its stores to “inspire customers and elevate the experience.”

digital screen
Digital screens welcome Walmart customers to the store.

The new design will communicate to customers the vast range of products and services Walmart offers online through the strategic use of QR codes and digital screens. Washington gave the example of Walmart’s pets area, where a customer can scan a QR code to find additional dog bed options, learn about Walmart’s pet insurance service options or have a 20-pound bag of kibble delivered to their door.

Displays at the corners of certain departments aim to pull customers in and help them touch, feel and become a part of the space. For example, the home department may feature a living room or bedroom set up where the customer can “squeeze a throw pillow or feel the coziness of a blanket,” then purchase the items or order them online.

The new store design also takes the “store within a store experience” to the next level. In the apparel department Walmart will highlight owned and national brands. The baby department will offer elevated displays showcasing items needed to create a “dream nursery” as well as strollers and car seats of the box to allow for test drives. The beauty department will also showcase shops with new and trending items, and men’s grooming tools that can be seen and experienced. Additionally, in these new reimagined spaces, Walmart has purposefully created more space for customers to explore and the assortment is optimized to “elevate storytelling that draws customers in.

Walmart+ customer uses Scan & Go.
Walmart+ customer uses Scan & Go.

“In today’s omnichannel world, customers still want to experience – touch, feel and try – items,” said Washington. “So, we’re now aiming to make customers feel wowed and proud when they shop with us. We’re using powerful design elements to show off amazing products that wow our customers, and when they see the value, they are proud of their choice and purchase.

The updated store format will begin in Walmart’s incubator store (Store 4108) with plans to roll out in other locations in 2022. According to Washington, early results show that customers are “wowed” by the redesign. “We’ll continue to test, learn, and make changes based on what our customers tell us. As we do that, we’ll quickly adjust and deliver an even better, more engaging experience in 2022 and beyond."

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