To prepare to take a larger chunk of consumer spending over the holidays, Walmart plans to offer digital maps in its stores to guide shoppers to product locations. At the same time, the retailer said it would offer speedier checkout, Reuters reported.
Walmart Chief Merchandising Officer Steve Bratspies noted that the company has a level of comfort with its in-stock inventory. Last year, sales had been impacted by inventory as the company brought on more items for the holidays such as gifts, toys and electronics, but it didn’t have sufficient everyday products.
This year, the retailer has updated its website and also plans to have a larger array of electronics, toy and fashion products. At the same time, the retailer has a new feature called “Check out with Me” to enable shoppers to skip the lines at checkouts to make payments within store departments.
The news comes as Walmart is growing its toy assortment by 30 percent in its brick-and-mortar stores, and by 40 percent online. To that end, the retailer is rolling out “thousands” of additional items to give customers more options. In an August press release announcing the move, Walmart’s vice president of toys, Anne Marie Kehoe, said the retailer has always been a place to find toys, but is now “making even bigger investments in the category to ensure [it has] the widest selection of toys at the best prices.”
Within its brick-and-mortar stores, the company planned to roll out events and demos for its customers. In addition, the company had planning demos to highlight toys from brands such as Transformers, Barbie and Ryan’s World, and roadshows for Hot Wheels and Nerf. To guide its customer recommendations, the company had “hundreds of youngsters” test out toys to create a “Top Rated by Kids” list.
Walmart is also stepping up its marketing efforts: toy influencers, such as Gavin Raygoza, Kenzie Mitchell, Clara Lukasiak and Gabe and Garrett, plan to bring reviews, advice and recommendations to Walmart’s website.