As part of a multimillion-dollar plan to update the chain's U.S. store portfolio, 12 Wal-Mart stores in Michigan will get new looks in 2017. The remodeled stores are capitalizing on building connections for consumers, taking them from traditional in-store shopping to online sales at Wal-Mart's e-commerce site, and finding in-between steps to blend the two. Wal-Mart is making changes such as moving in-store pickup areas to the front of the store; testing online grocery ordering with in-store pickup; increasing the number of fresh and organic products; and creating a relaxing lounge-like area for shoppers picking up online orders. Wal-Mart believes the store remodels will help it retain existing customers and attract new ones. In addition to the Michigan stores, another 400-640 stores will get new looks this year.
Total Retail’s Take: While financial reports released last week showed strength for the chain — its e-commerce division grew 63 percent in the first quarter of the year and overall U.S. sales grew 2.9 percent — Wal-Mart cannot rest on its laurels. The company knows it needs to continue driving new customers into its stores, as well as keep current customers. One of the best ways to do that is to make it convenient for customers to shop in its stores, thus the store redesigns.