Walmart will build, convert or remodel hundreds of stores over the next five years.
That means building or converting more than 150 stores while remodeling 650 more, “creating tens of thousands of jobs supporting these projects,” Furner said in the release, noting that is in addition to the hundreds of jobs that result from the opening of a new store.
The announcement — which came one day before rival Amazon is set to release quarterly earnings — noted that the first two stores in this initiative are Walmart Neighborhood Markets that are due to open this spring in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia.
“We’re also finalizing construction plans on 12 new projects we intend to start this year, along with converting one of our smaller locations to a Walmart Supercenter,” Furner said in the release.
The new and remodeled stores are part of Walmart’s Store of the Future concept, which incorporates interactive technology that blends online and in-person shopping.
PYMNTS Intelligence found that customers want connected experiences in stores. For example, the report “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization” revealed that 83% of general retailers said consumers would be very or extremely likely to find another merchant if they were not provided with mobile apps.
The same held true for offering in-store barcode and QR code scanning apps. In addition, 79% said they would do so if not given alternative payment methods in-store.
Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar retailers are finding it tough to keep up with eCommerce channels.
“2024 will be the year that brick-and-mortar retailers will be forced to think beyond incremental improvements in in-store checkout and begin using their physical footprint to support the shopping journey that consumers want,” PYMNTS’ Karen Webster wrote in a Jan. 8 feature. “And not because busy consumers use digital channels more often, but because consumers have embraced new digital buying options that keep them away from the store entirely.”
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