Walmart reimagines its supercenters
Walmart has introduced a new store design to help millions of customers who shop at its supercenters every year reap the full advantages of the “omni-shopping experience.”
In a blog post, Janey Whiteside, the retailer’s chief customer officer, says the new layout “spotlights products” throughout the store and provides customers “end-to-end digital navigation” to guide them through their journeys. Stores will give consumers a number of contactless methods to shop and pay for their purchases. The retail giant plans to roll out 200 stores with the new design before the end of the current fiscal year and another 1,000 next year.
Signage on the exterior and interior of the store is designed to drive downloads and use of the chain’s app as part of the shopping experience. Bold signage and aisles marked clearly with number designations that match Walmart’s app are meant to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.
“We were inspired by airport wayfinding systems as best-in-class examples of how to direct large groups of people,” writes Ms. Whiteside. “We developed simple yet thoughtful designs to replicate these navigation efficiencies, which will help us move customers through the store more quickly. We also optimized product layout, bringing greater visibility to key items throughout the store, including dedicated in-store sections for electronics, toys, baby products and more.”
Walmart has also made contactless shopping, which has grown more popular with consumers during the novel coronavirus pandemic, a key feature of its new design. All stores will have self-checkout kiosks and allow customers to use Walmart Pay on the chain’s app to complete their purchase. Select stores will have Walmart’s Scan & Go tech to checkout sans a cashier.
A Fast Company article headline says Walmart’s new store design “proves browsing is dead” in stores. The goal of consumers and the retailers that serve them is to help them “get in and get out. Don’t stick around.”
Ms. Whiteside, in an interview with the publication, gave some credence to this view.
“We’ve always known customers want to get in and out of a Walmart as quickly as they can. Not in a bad way. You don’t want to waste time,” she said.
- Reimagining Store Design to Help Customers Better Navigate the Omni-Shoppng Experience – Walmart
- Walmart’s new store design proves browsing is dead – Fast Company
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Walmart’s new store design align with how Americans are shopping today? Do you think shopper dwell time in stores is less important today than it has been in the past?