Walmart said today that it is re-opening dozens of newly remodeled stores across the U.S. in the largest single-day rollout of “re-grand” openings in the retail giant’s history, a bid to double down on the physical location advantage that rival Amazon can’t match.
Walmart said it spent half a billion dollars to redesign 117 stores in 30 states, part of a broader initiative of investing $9 billion to upgrade more than 1,400 stores over the past two years.
Walmart’s initiative helps it stay competitive against Amazon as the two increasingly lock horns in the online realm. Walmart already offers similar services to Amazon through its online store and Walmart+ membership, but having a physical location still gives Walmart an edge for convenience sake. Customers who need a prescription or product the same day can head over to their local Walmart instead of paying extra for same-day delivery or having to wait a few days through standard shipping.
“Every change is thoughtful,” Walmart said in a statement. “They all ladder up to a greater goal: to meet our customers wherever they are, leveraging our stores to welcome people to a more modern, highly connected Walmart.”
Walmart’s pharmacies have moved to the front of the store for easier access and have been upgraded to include a private screening room for consultations and services. The vision center has been revamped to include a wider assortment of designer eyeglasses and sunglasses, including prescriptions.
The upgraded stores also have more room in the aisles, so associates have more space to fill online orders while maneuvering around in-store customers.
Additionally, Walmart has included elaborate displays that let customers interact with items. Customers can see a full bedroom display complete with sample bedding and complimentary products like towels, side tables, and lamps to help them visualize how the aesthetic will look in their homes. Customers who have questions about an item can find answers on “digital touchpoints” located around the stores, which offer more information on products and services.
At checkout, customers will see a new dollar shop with seasonal products and a “Grab & Go” section filled with snacks, sandwiches, and cold beverages.
Walmart plans to continue remodeling stores throughout 2024.
Image credit: Walmart