Walmart will remodel 200 of its Supercenters by the end of 2020 to encourage a more "digitally enabled shopping experience" featuring bolder signage, contactless checkout, and airport-inspired crowd management techniques, according to the company's Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside. The retail giant's remodeling project will expand to 1,000 stores by the end of 2021. The redesign efforts are intended to complement the company's mobile app. In a nod to consumers' increasing preference for contactless shopping experiences, Walmart's updated stores will feature both self-checkout kiosks and stations where Walmart Pay can be used. Several locations will also feature Scan & Go technology.
Total Retail's Take: The trend of big-box retailers trying to blur the line between online and offline shopping experiences through the use of in-store mobile apps and other technologies has been evident for some time now. However, the push to roll out such technologies as well as redesigned store spaces has become more urgent in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and consumers' increasing preference for contactless shopping. Furthermore, consumers are looking to have their in-store shopping experiences be as quick and seamless as possible, and they're relying on technology to help them accomplish that goal. Walmart recognized that and incorporated it into its store redesign plans.
“Today is a pivotal moment for us as we roll out our new store look and feel and embrace a truly digitally enabled omni shopping experience," says Alvis Washington, vice president, marketing – store design, innovation and experience, Walmart, in a emailed statement to Total Retail. "We set out to create a more engaging experience that would allow both our associates and customers to better navigate their shopping needs in a highly customized and convenient way. I’m incredibly proud of the team for always keeping an ear to the ground on what our customers want, and going above and beyond to ensure our passion for serving the customer and commitment to continuously evolving with their needs never wavers."