Walmart has introduced an “interactive shop” prototype, which is now being tested at its facility in Arkansas.
The retail giant, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, is carrying out the experiment at its facility at Store 4108 in Springdale.
The company says with competition increasing and the threshold for consumer jobs to actually go inside a shop rather than ordering for delivery or curbside pickup rising, it has decided to try something new.
The shop, dubbed “Time Well Spent,” features improved lighting and space use, more dynamic displays, and QR codes and digital screens that “offer chances for digital exploration,” according to Alvis Washington, vice president of marketing for store design, innovation, and experience.
If Walmart’s “Time Well Spent” shop feels familiar, it’s because the merchandising approach is similar to rival Target’s store redesign, which debuted five years ago and has been paying off ever since.
Walmart’s Springdale store has “activated corners,” which are displays designed to attract attention and allow customers to visualize or experience the products; “elevated brand shops,” which operate as a store within a store; more space to allow for better storytelling; and digital displays, where customers can scan QR codes to learn more about more items or services or place an order.
These mass merchants are using what Retail Speak Founder Sanford Stein, who has spent 50 years in retail store design, refers to as “the department store lexicon.”
He said: “I refer to it as solution-based rather than product-based retailing.
“It’s something that a good department store of the past did well, and it’s increasingly important as sales continue to shift more online.”
Walmart says it wants to make its stores a place for discovery and not just the checking off of a to-do list.
These improvements at Walmart are designed to make it a more engaging experience in 2022 and beyond.
The company says it wants its customers to be “wowed and inspired – and that their time was well spent.”
Walmart operates nearly 5,000 stores across all 50 U.S. States. The chain has focused on being accessible and that has worked as over 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of one of its stores.