- Walmart is redesigning 200 supercenters across the country, with an eye toward combining shoppers’ digital and in-store experiences.
- The newly-refurbished stores will feature bolder signage to reflect and encourage app usage, more self-checkout kiosks, and separate sections for toys, electronics, and baby products.
- “We’ve tried to think through how we help customers discover and get inspiration online and reflect that in terms of a completely new store look and feel,” Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside told Business Insider.
- The remodeling project will expand to 1,000 stores by the end of 2021.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
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. Redesign efforts will also primarily take place in Supercenters, but some Health Centers and Neighborhood Markets may additionally be overhauled.
In an interview with Business Insider, Whiteside said that the primary goal of the redesign is to provide customers with “one integrated Walmart experience” that compliments the company’s mobile app.
“We’re really excited about the shopping experience being one in which customers can really toggle between their phones and what they see at the store,” she said.
Updates to stores will include “clean, colorful” signage. Aisles will be assigned letter and number combinations on both the Walmart app and in-store in order to smooth out navigation. Major sections like toys, electronics, and baby products will also be broken out into visible sections, while complimenting a grid-like layout for the store.
“When you want a toy, you can go to the toy section, as opposed to scouring the aisles for toys,” Whiteside said.
When planning for its remodeling effort, Walmart took inspiration from an unlikely source: airports. According to Whiteside, efficient airports provide a prime example of spaces that allow for large groups of people to easily navigate through clever designs and clear signage.
“We’ve created what we think is a pretty sleek design aesthetic that helps spotlight products,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside said that the digital enhancements will compliment app usage, but that the iconography and front-and-center store directory will also make the shopping experience more “simple” and “intuitive” for non-app users.
“It’s really important that we don’t alienate people who aren’t used to shopping on their phone,” she said. “We’re not going to reorient stores so that if you don’t use a phone, you can’t find anything.”
These revamped Supercenters will also boast self-checkout kiosks and contactless pay via Walmart Pay.
Thanks to fears over infection during the coronavirus pandemic, contactless pay has increasingly become a hot feature in retail. 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.
The redesign has already rolled out at a number of stores, and elements of the new design will continue to pop up over the next 15 months.
Ultimately, Whiteside said that Walmart’s new redesign push seeks to strike a balance between mobile-based, online shopping and those “customers who really want to come into the store and have a really fun, interesting experience.”
“What we hear a lot is the customers are looking for us for inspiration, whether that’s in store, online, or via our mobile app,” Whiteside said. “We’ve tried to think through how we help customers discover and get inspiration online and reflect that in terms of a completely new store look and feel.”
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