Walmart has introduced a new store design and layout that will roll out in the near term.
The new design was primarily inspired by fierce competition from Amazon, airport amenities, and the contactless environment produced by the virus pandemic.
In a recent blog post, Janey Whiteside, director of customer service for the retailer, wrote the new layout “highlights products and end-to-end digital navigation that guides customers through their journeys.”
The new design, which will be unveiled in nearly 200 of Walmart’s 4,500 U.S. stores this year, will be seen in another 800 next year, incorporates technology to produce a contactless shopping environment.
There will be a lot of noticeable changes for customers. The first is that the aisles will be labeled with numbers and letters to help customers find products guided by the Walmart app on their smartphones. The move is to create a habit among customers of using the app rather than Amazon’s. The app will come with useful technology that will reduce in-store frustration when searching for products.
Other store changes include electronic information signs that will help guide shoppers to sections, much like signage at airports.
“We were inspired by airport referral systems as examples of the best way to lead large groups of people,” Whiteside wrote. “We’ve developed simple but thoughtful designs to replicate these navigation efficiencies, which will help us move customers around the store faster. We have also optimized product presentation, bringing greater visibility to key items throughout the store, including dedicated in-store sections for electronics, toys, baby products, and more.
For Fast Company, the redesign of Walmart “proves that navigation is dead” in the stores. The new design allows customers to navigate stores more efficiently.
“We’ve always known that customers want to get in and out of a Walmart as quickly as possible. Not bad. You don’t want to waste time, ”Whiteside told Fast Company.
At the end of the shopping experience, customers will be greeted with self-checkout kiosks and have the option to use Walmart Pay to complete their purchase. Some stores will have Walmart’s Scan & Go technology.
Along with the changes in stores, Walmart is also planning last mile deliveries with drones.
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