If You Shop at Walmart, Prepare for These Major Changes
The retailer is rolling out a new shopping experience for customers.
Whether you're picking up groceries to make dinner or looking to replace your empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, Walmart serves as a one-stop shop. And since many of us have been going to Walmart our whole lives, we usually go into our local store knowing what to expect and where to find what we need. But some shoppers might be in for a shock on their next shopping trip. Walmart has recently unveiled a new in-store experience, which is part of a larger major redesign for the retailer. Read on to find out how your local Walmart store might be different in the future.
Walmart has just launched an elevated in-store experience.
Walmart shoppers have recently noticed a makeover made to one of the retailer's stores, Southern Living reported on Feb. 16. A viral TikTok video that has gained more than 18 million views showed a new trial shopping experience that had been set up in the Springdale, Arkansas, Walmart Supercenter, which serves as one of the company's test center stores.
In the video, shoppers can see a number of differences in the Springdale store compared to a traditional Walmart location. The user shows a large Reebok activewear section that features TV displays showing videos of athletes working out in the brand's clothing, as well as expanded nursery and home displays within the store. The video also reveals a new digital display on freezer doors showing what products are inside and an elevated pet care section.
The company just announced the new shopping concept this year.
Walmart announced the introduction of this store redesign on Jan. 27. According to a press release from the company, the new shopping experience is being called "Time Well Spent." Alvis Washington, Walmart's vice president of marketing for store design, innovation, and experience, wrote that the new design "focuses on making Walmart a destination where customers want to spend their time."
"In today's omnichannel world, customers still want to experience—touch, feel and try–items. So, we're now aiming to make customers feel wowed and proud when they shop with us," Washington explained. "We're using powerful design elements to show off amazing products that wow our customers, and when they see the value, they are proud of their choice and purchase."
According to Washington, there are four guiding principles for the redesign: activated corners, elevated brand shops, more space to discover, and digital touchpoint. These principles will be upheld by Walmart making major changes like showcasing interactive displays at the corners of certain departments and using strategic QR codes and digital screens that will allow shoppers to learn more about the products they are looking to buy and what Walmart is offering.
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Walmart has been rolling out a major store redesign in phases.
The new set-up in its Springdale store is actually the second phase of a major store redesign that Walmart began last year. In 2020, the retailer announced that it would be updating some stores with additional design elements and digital experiences for an "omni-shopping" experience. "Developed through a customer-centric lens, the design creates an elevated experience that appeals to shoppers through a sleek design aesthetic, a layout that spotlights products and an end-to-end digital navigation that guides customers throughout their journeys," Janey Whiteside, Walmart's chief customer officer, said in Sept. 2020.
But the second part, which was just unveiled this year, has a focus that goes beyond "navigation and wayfinding" for shoppers. "In this next phase of our redesign, we're amplifying the physical, human and digital design elements in our stores to inspire customers and elevate the experience," Washington said.
The first phase of the redesign has already hit hundreds of stores.
According to Walmart, the first phase of its major store redesign received overwhelmingly positive feedback in its initial stages. So now, nearly 1,000 of its stores have been "renovated with this new design to help customers save time in finding what they need," Washington said in Walmart's Jan. 2022 press release. With that in mind, it's likely the second phase will expand to more locations over time as well, especially since the shopping experience has already received its own share of encouraging feedback.
"Early results show that customers are wowed by the redesign. I love hearing customers say this is their favorite Walmart store, and it makes me proud to be a part of the team leading this work," Washington wrote. "We'll continue to test, learn, and make changes based on what our customers tell us. As we do that, we'll quickly adjust and deliver an even better, more engaging experience in 2022 and beyond. After all, when customers choose to shop in-store with us, we want them to feel wowed and inspired—and that their time was well spent."