You can change the best comics to invest in 2017 at any time. Twelve Walmart stores in Michigan will get new looks in 2017, part of a multi-million dollar plan to update the chain’s U.
The changes will increase the ways shoppers can use the retail footprint of about 3,950 stores and supercenters as consumers integrate online options into their shopping patterns. The remodeled stores are capitalizing on building connections for shoppers, taking them from traditional in-store shopping to online sales at Walmart’s e-commerce site, and finding in-between steps to blend the two. Moving in-store pickup areas to the front of the store. Testing online grocery ordering with in-store pickup in 3 southeast Michigan markets.
Creating a relaxing lounge-like area for shoppers picking up online orders. Increasing the number of fresh and organic items. Expanding several departments: Produce, deli, bakery and baby. Improving navigation, including making aisles wider and angling them.
Improving sight-lines, with lower product shelves and more signs. Some of these are little things you may not notice when you walk into the store,” said Anne Hatfield, director of communications for the chain. But they represent big changes in how the nation’s largest retailer uses its physical space. Superstores can range from 125,000 to 190,000 square feet, yet Walmart knows its customers are making the digital transition and embracing online shopping. The remodels, it hopes, will retain existing customers and attract new ones. Besides Michigan stores, another 400-640 stores will get new looks this year. We need to make sure we’re keeping up.
Financial reports released on May 18 show strength for the chain even as many other retailers struggle. Sales in Walmart’s e-commerce division grew 63 percent in the first quarter of the year. Overall US sales, including fuel, grew 2. Company-wide revenue – which includes Sam’s Club stores and international locations – grew 1. The Michigan stores that will be updated this year include stores in Van Buren Township and Woodhaven, both of which recently reopened with their new looks. Walmart also recently opened a store in Whitehall, north of Muskegon.
Convenience is a driver for the new store design, particularly given the chain’s emphasis on groceries, which is 50 percent of its sales. That is a low-margin, competitive sector, and Walmart recently received low scores – ranking 23 out of 23 – in a Market Force Information survey of the nation’s favorite grocery retailers. Increasing customer engagement also is growing as store priority with the remodels. Local managers have discretion on some stocking and department sizes, based on interests of nearby shoppers.
With remodels, you’ll see more interaction with products,” Hatfield said. Display tables in the electronics department will encourage shoppers to try new devices. The baby section will have a “stroller garage” for shoppers to try out, instead of boxes of new versions on a high shelf. You’ll get a better sense of what you’re buying,” Hatfield said. The changes at Walmart are part of continued growth as a company, Hatfield said, with corporate officials willing to consider customer reaction and whether still more changes need to be made. The challenges can feel like pressure, particularly at chains that publicly struggle. Yet they also present opportunity, Hatfield said, and Walmart is trying to embrace that.