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4 Changes Walmart Is Making This Spring and How They'll Affect You

The stores will look and sound a lot different.

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Like any major corporation that's been around for decades, Walmart is no stranger to change. The retailer frequently opens and closes locations, redesigns its brick-and-mortar stores, and upgrades its offerings for shoppers and Walmart+ members. So, the fact that changes are coming to Walmart in the coming months isn't surprising—but some of the details might catch you off guard. Read on for the big updates you'll see at your favorite big-box store this spring, and how you can expect them to impact your experience.

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Walmart is adding food halls.

walmart store
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

In February, Walmart made its first foray into food courts—and it plans to test out more. It opened the food hall concept Wonder, which was launched by Marc Lore, Walmart's former U.S. eCommerce CEO, in a location in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. The retailer plans to open two others in Teterboro and Ledgewood, New Jersey, per Supermarket News. Unlike Costco, whose food court is known for its pizza and fountain sodas, Wonder specializes in more elevated fare.

The Quakertown location will include eight of Wonder's brands: Limesalt, Yasas, Alanza Pizza, Tejas, Wing Trip, Burger Baby, Fred's Meat & Bread, and Room for Dessert. You can eat in, pick up, or order delivery, and the concept allows you to mix and match food items from each brand. (For example, you could order wings from Wing Trip and something sweet from Room for Dessert.)

Walmart is testing drone delivery.

Close up of a drone in the sky with a house in the background
Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock

We've heard about the prospect of drone delivery for a while now, but it seems Walmart is finally making it happen. CEO Doug McMillon presented a keynote on the subject at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. The drone deliveries were only available in certain markets, but the company said it planned to roll them out this year, reported CNN.

There were also mentions of AI, including features that would be used to predict your online order, improve Walmart's supply chain, and more.

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Walmart is making stores less overwhelming in the mornings.

the outside of a Walmart store with customers walking out and a palm tree

Walmart stores are notoriously a lot, but it seems that might be changing. In the fall, it began setting in-store TVs to a static image, turning off the radio, and lowering the lights from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day. Leadership noted that during a pilot test, they learned these updates are beneficial to neurodiverse people with sensory disabilities.

The goal is to attract more shoppers and keep them in the store for longer. "During these hours, we hope our customers and associates will find the stores to be a little easier on the eyes and ears," they wrote in an announcement. However, it just might make your Sunday grocery run a bit more relaxing, too.

Walmart will increase store manager salaries.


On Jan. 18, Walmart announced it was increasing the annual base pay for store managers from $117,000 to $128,000; that's a 9 percent increase and the first bump in a decade, according to CNN.

The company also revamped its bonus program for these workers. Now, the calculations will weigh individual store profits more heavily. "If you hit all targets, your bonus could now be up to 200% of your base salary," wrote Cedric Clark, executive VP of store operations at the company. The change went into effect on Feb. 1.

The goal of this increase is to minimize employee turnover and attract more top talent. It's better for shoppers, too, since a happy workforce and consistency in a store's leadership typically make for a happier shopping experience.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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