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Walmart Announces Remodel Across All Stores

Retailers across the world know that although customers can, and do remain loyal for many years, the younger generation are happy to swap shops for a better deal.

Therefore how stores present themselves to customers has a direct effect on not only how many customers they can get through their doors, but how much they will spend once there.

Every organization will have their own unique take on this and Walmart is no different. Customers heading into Walmart anywhere across the U.S. will see produce as soon as they enter, and this tactic is a major factor in the retailer’s competition against other companies, including as Amazon.

It is important that shops keep their customers engaged and with this in mind Walmart have announced they are updating their produce aisles in all their stores.

In an attempt to stay innovative, America’s largest grocer will be redesigning their produce sections, adding new signage so the customer can see prices clearer as well as making their merchandise bins smaller. This is a clear attempt at the owners wanting to create a more ‘open market feel’ to reflect the habits of modern day shoppers.

And with many consumers opting for a more organic lifestyle Walmart have announced they are creating a new section in the store keeping everything together. This should appeal to customers who are rushing in on the way home and want to grab their items without having to search around the many different departments for a few simple items.

The increase in the number of people ordering groceries online has created an environment where we seem to be constantly trying to move around an employee and their cart so stores will now have wider aisles to accommodate everyone.

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Charles Redfield, Executive Vice President of Food at Walmart’s US business acknowledges that online shopping has ‘fundamentally changed the way we operate our food business within the store’ stating that:

‘We’ve always got associates in the produce area. This layout created more space in the department to allow room for customers to shop.”

Nicknamed “Produce 2.0”, the remodel has already kicked off with over 200 stores currently having work carried out and Walmart is working towards a completion date of next summer for most of their 4,700 stores.

Despite the growth in online shopping, 95 percent of shoppers still prefer to head into a shop to purchase their produce, mainly due to our nature to rummaging through the bargain bins and see what other offers are around. And it does not seem to be waning. According to a study by Nielsen sales of produce increased in 2018 by 2.6% and it looks set to continue this trend.

Redfield is hopeful that Walmart’s new look will encourage shoppers to buy their high-quality produce stating ‘fresh is key to the food shopping experience.’

And Jon Springer agrees. As Executive Editor of industry trade publication “Winsight Grocery Business” he notes that produce ‘plays to big, overarching consumer trends in health and wellness’.

It is not only Walmart who have announced an investment in produce. German rivals Aldi increased their organic and produce sections in the last few years while Kroger have also made their own announcements.

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Kroger announced they are investing in hydroponic farms at their stores in Washington State, which supports their new advertisements focusing on their fresh food, with the slogan ‘Fresh for Everyone’ at the top of their priorities.

Walmart has been a staple in the American shoppers’ psyche for the last 31 years since they opened their first store in 1988.

Groceries have become their biggest sellers, creating over $500 billion in revenue, which equates to around 56 percent of the business. Despite competition from other superstores, Walmart continues to be America’s biggest grocer, with Morgan Stanley estimating them to be receiving roughly 20% of the fragmented US grocery industry.

In recent times Walmart has reduced prices to maintain their competition against other stores, including discount rivals, as well as improving the supply chain, making their fruit and vegetables have a longer expiration date on their shelves.

Redfield confirmed that the ‘one thing the customers were telling us is that, you know what, “We didn’t believe in your quality.” We knew we had some work to do there,”

As well as the investments in store, Walmart are also investing in their online grocery shopping, an act that they hope will protect them against Whole Foods, which Amazon bought in 2017.

Customers now have the option to buy-online, pickup-in-store at 3,000 of the company’s stores while 1,400 locations are now able to receive home delivery thanks to a new $98 a year deliver subscription.

This has come on the back of Walmart’s latest quarterly review which showed online sales have increased by 41% meaning Walmart are adapting to the needs of the ever busy American.