Retail giant Walmart has announced a significant investment of more than $9 billion over the next two years to modernize and enhance various U.S. stores. The planned upgrades include improved layouts, expanded product selections, and the introduction of new technology features.
Walmart’s commitment to this initiative will be evident as 117 stores in 30 states are set to be relaunched with these enhancements on Friday. These investments amount to over $500 million, with plans to modernize more than 1,400 of its 4,717 Walmart stores nationwide. It’s worth noting that the modernization efforts will not extend to Walmart’s warehouse club chain, Sam’s Club.
“This construction investment allows us to create more local jobs and make it easier for our associates to get customers what they want when they want it,” stated John Furner, CEO of Walmart’s U.S. business.
Walmart’s reputation for offering low-cost and low-margin groceries has made it a go-to destination for Americans grappling with rising food prices, particularly for items like eggs, protein, and chocolate, over the past two years. In 2022, the company achieved record sales exceeding $600 billion.
Now, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer is looking to transform its image from being solely a discount store to a destination where customers can find not only affordable groceries but also stylish home goods and clothing.
As part of these efforts, Walmart introduced test concept stores known as “Stores of the Future” at select Walmart Supercenters, including Teterboro in New Jersey, earlier this year. The results were promising, with executives reporting same-store sales increases of a few percentage points and, in the case of Teterboro, as much as 20 percent.
The investments announced on Monday signify the nationwide rollout of this successful concept.
The upgraded stores will feature refreshed interiors and exteriors, with new paint, updated flooring, modernized restrooms, energy-efficient LED lighting, and new signage for improved navigation throughout the stores.
Customers will also have access to enhanced checkout options, such as staffed lanes and self-checkout areas, as well as an expanded selection of grab-and-go food and beverage options in the grocery sections.
The modernized stores will include larger pharmacies equipped with private screening rooms for pharmacist consultations and services. Additionally, digital screens and QR codes will provide information about Walmart’s online services and offerings.
Walmart’s investment in store modernization reflects the company’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of its customers while maintaining its position as a retail leader in the United States.