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Inside Walmart’s Airport-Inspired, Digital-First Shopping Supercenters

Inside Walmart’s Airport-Inspired, Digital-First Shopping Supercenters

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Walmart plans to revamp as many as 200 Supercenter locations by the end of the year and 1,000 locations by the end of 2022 to deliver on consumers’ evolving shopping preferences.

The store upgrades will primarily focus on facilitating omnichannel shopping experiences and supporting ordering and payments regardless of the channel consumers choose to use. 

The company says that it drew inspiration from airports to reimagine the shopping experience in its store locations and took cues on how to direct people in a high traffic environment.

The upgrades will include adding new signage to prompt consumers to download and use the Walmart app within the store, help them find products and navigate different category sections within the store locations. Store aisles will feature a combination of a letter and a number to guide shoppers from their phones to products.

The remodeled stores will also include self-checkout kiosks, contactless payment options and Scan & Go self-checkout at certain locations.

“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,” said Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Walmart’s U.S. division.

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The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company’s announcement comes three months after it said that it would invest $3.5 billion in upgrading its stores in Canada and making them smarter.

Some of the store upgrades made in Canada include installing larger self-checkout stations, equipping employees with handheld point of sale (POS) systems to help shoppers check out from anywhere in the store and using robotics and computer vision cameras for improving efficiency. The company also plans to install electronic shelf labels and shelf scanners that can help monitor product volumes. These upgrades will be made at 150 store locations, which represents a third of its network of 400 stores in the country.

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