What does $9 billion buy? For Walmart stores, a brand new look

Walmart Store of the Future format, retail prototype stores

Bentonville, Ark. – In a major reset, Walmart will hold the largest single-day, re-grand opening in its history on Nov. 3.

The company will celebrate the completion of “Walmart Store of the Future” remodels in 177 stores across 30 states. The stores are among more the 700 units Walmart has modernized this year as it works to lure grocery customers into its general merchandise departments.

“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.

Part of what Walmart calls the “Signature Experience,” the stores are designed to inspire customers  with upgraded features, improved layouts, expanded product selections and innovative technology.

Key elements include: Walmart Store of the Future format, retail prototype stores

  • Elevated departments that feature displays showcasing products out of their boxes.
  • New signage allowing for easier navigation while shopping in store and using the Walmart App.
  • Activated corners, which are displays featured at the corners of certain departments to pull customers in and help them touch, feel and become a part of the space.
  • A new Dollar Shop at store entrances with seasonally relevant products.
  • Digital touchpoints throughout the store help communicate the range of products and services offered online through QR codes and digital screens. In the Pets area, for example, customers can scan a QR code to final additional dog bed options, learn about Walmart’s pet insurance service or order delivery for a 20-pound bag of dog food.
  • Mother’s Room with comfortable, clean and private area for nursing mothers.
  • Refreshed interior and exterior. with new paint, updated flooring throughout the store, modernized restrooms, and new fixtures and LED lighting for better and brighter line of sight throughout the store.
  • Front end transformation: Increased check-out options, including staffed lanes and self-checkout areas.
  • Larger online grocery pickup and deliver areas to accommodate expanding demand.
  • New Grab & Go sections are being added to grocery areas for quick meal and drink options.
  • Expanded pharmacies with new private screening rooms for pharmacist consultations and services.

General merchandise sales at Walmart U.S. have show declines for several quarters. During the 2nd quarter (ended July 31), general merchandise declined in the low single-digit range due to softness in the discretionary categories of apparel, home and sporting goods.

Walmart plans to continue modernizing its stores across the country in 2024.

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