Walmart shoppers can expect to see some big changes to their stores over the coming years.
This Friday, November 3, Walmart is set to celebrate its ‘Second Best Day’ with reopenings on the cards for 117 stores across 30 states in the largest single-day rollout of such events in the company's history.
The company has also bolstered its fulfillment capabilities ahead of the holiday crunch.
“We’re investing more than $9 billion over a two-year period to upgrade and modernize more than 1,400 of our stores across the U.S.,” said John Furner, chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. "With nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population living within 10 miles of a Walmart, we understand how important our local stores are to customers and communities, and these construction investments allow us to create more local jobs and make it easier for our associates to get customers what they want, when they want it.”
Customers at the upgraded stores should look out for:
- Digital touchpoints placed throughout the store to provide more information on products and services.
- Activated corners featuring novel displays for customer interaction with products.
- Transformed storefronts with new checkout designs based on customer feedback, including staffed lanes and self-checkout.
- Walmart+ express lane and touch-free Walmart Pay options.
- Expanded areas for Pickup & Delivery services.
- New grab and go sections in the grocery aisles.
- Refurbished exteriors with new paint, signs, lighting, and more shopping carts.
- Private screening rooms in pharmacies for pharmacist consultations and services.
- Expanded pharmacies and updated vision centers, with many pharmacies moved up to the front of the store.
Supply Chain Upgrades
The retail giant also says shoppers will reap the benefits of its supply chain improvements this holiday season. Heading into the busiest time of the year, Walmart says customers will benefit from more convenience, including same-day delivery options and late-night delivery services until 10:30 p.m.
Over the last few years, Walmart has expanded its reach to nearly 90% of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping, supported by new fulfillment centers and transportation network enhancements.
Walmart has also been using AI-powered inventory management to position products according to customer demand, bolstering shelf availability and order accuracy. For example, Walmart’s patent-pending AI tech can identify a top-selling toy in a particular region and automatically send more items to those stores. Then, if a toy is selling better in the Midwest compared to the East Coast, the solution can help reposition inventory to that region.
As part of these plans, the retailer has also implemented automated distribution centers and market fulfillment centers within stores to improve product delivery. This year, the company says, over 15% of stores will receive merchandise from automated distribution centers.
The company will have seven automated market fulfillment centers up and running by Thanksgiving. Located within Walmart stores, these centers stock thousands of top-selling products that are not available on the store sales floor and are designed to fulfill pickup and delivery orders.
“This approach both ensures heightened accuracy and also minimizes the need for substitutions, offering our customers an even more precise and satisfying shopping experience,” the company said in a statement.