Walmart Announces Sweeping Expansion
BENTONVILLE, AR - Walmart has announced plans to invest billions in new stores and improvements throughout the next year. The retail giant has unveiled ongoing efforts to open 20 new locations and remodel nearly 500 stores as part of its $11 billion capital expenditures guidance for Fiscal 2019.
“We’ve always had a mission to save people money, but we’re also focused on using technology to save them time…it’s what they expect from us and we’re going to continue to deliver,” Phil Keene, Director of Corporate Communications, told me in an email statement. “The plan is to continue improving stores and accelerating innovation during the coming year to make shopping faster and easier for our customers. We’ll also continue to look for ways to improve our processes to empower our associates to serve customers even better—we’ll be people powered and tech enabled, always with our customer’s needs in mind.”
Impending remodels and new stores will feature upgrades to several departments, as well as wider aisles for ease of navigation. This news is in addition to the company’s previously announced plans to expand Online Grocery Pick-Up to 1,000 additional stores, add approximately 500 Pick-Up Towers, and expand its popular Online Grocery Delivery option to more than 40 percent of U.S. households by the end of the year.
While Walmart was unable to directly reveal many details to me about where the remodels will be concentrated and how much will be invested in each region, several news sources, including Business Insider, have reported the following numbers:
- $277 Million on 44+ stores in Texas
- $200 million on 42 stores in Florida
- $145 million on 34 stores in California
- $94 million on 27 stores in Ohio
- $75 million on 14 stores in Virginia
- $68 million on 12 stores in New Jersey
- $35 million on 10 stores in Minnesota
The full scope and scale of each remodel will reportedly depend on the needs of the location, and Phil told me, details for each individual remodel are still being finalized, but more definitive information will be provided closer to each launch date. He did, however, explain that improvements may include the following:
- Upgrades to departments such as Produce, Cosmetics, Home, Auto, and Baby
- Wider aisles and lower fixtures for an improved store flow and easier navigation throughout the whole store
- State-of-the-art electronics department with interactive displays
- Additional self-checkouts to save customers time
- Updated pharmacy with addition of private consultation room
- New look in hardware with additional products
- New signage and flooring throughout the entire store, new fixtures and lighting, and refreshed bathrooms
- Product additions
- Expanded Walmart MoneyCenters
With $11 billion in its coffers, it seems like these innovations are just the beginning of Walmart’s 2019 plans. AndNowUKnow will continue to report as more information is forthcoming.