Walmart Opens First High-Tech Supermarket In China


Walmart has opened its first small-format supermarket in Shenzhen, China, with five more locations planned in the country by the end of the year.

According to Chain Store Age, the 10,000 square-foot store will carry more than 8,000 items offered both in-store and online, focusing on fresh foods, fast delivery, value and everyday convenience.

Designed by Tampa-based design and architecture firm api(+), the layout gives fresh vegetables, fruit and frozen foods prominence, along with popular pre-prepared dishes. Electronic price tags enable the retailer to keep prices current.

A high-tech stocking system enables associates to locate products and fulfill orders through the fastest product route. In fact, the system allows for home delivery in as few as 29 minutes to locations within two kilometers of the supermarket.

The store also offers Walmart’s “Scan & Go” option, where customers can simply use a mini program on WeChat (China’s top social media platform) to scan the barcodes on products as they shop. They then pay via their mobile device and quickly verify payment, bypassing the checkout counter.

Throughout the store, there are three Scan & Go payment-verification stations, three self-service checkouts, and three traditional checkouts with cashiers. In a two-month pilot, the company reported that more than one in five customers chose to pay through Scan & Go, while more than 50 percent of customers chose online ordering, Scan & Go or self-checkout.

In addition, customers can also go online to buy e-gift cards, schedule home appliance maintenance, arrange flower delivery, make travel reservations, and more. Available in-store services include laundry, key cutting, shoe repair and more.

According to api(+), the store is already a hit with local shoppers.

“Our team worked to create an environment supporting efficient labor and product handling and convenience for customers, as well as an effective use of technology to reduce operating costs and speed transaction time,” the company stated.