Walmart Inc. WMT unveiled a series of store innovations and improvements in Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida. This retail power house, which focuses on bolstering e-commerce capabilities, has not neglected the brick-and-mortar business. This is evident from the company’s recent initiatives. Let’s take a closer look at Walmart’s efforts to strengthen in-store offerings.
Store Remodeling to Enhance Shopping
Walmart plans to undertake remodeling efforts in 54, 19, 15 and 34 stores in Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida, respectively. In Florida, the company will construct a new Neighborhood Market. Accordingly, it will be making investments to ramp up these stores with advanced features, directed toward simplifying consumers shopping experience.
The store remodeling will include building capabilities such as grocery pickups, wherein customers can easily pick their online orders from stores. To make pickup services convenient, Walmart will be installing more pick up towers. Moreover, customers can avail Walmart’s recently introduced Voice Order technology in partnership with Alphabet's GOOG Google. This technology enables consumers to directly add items to the shopping cart by simply talking to the Google Assistant.
Moreover, to simplify merchandise handling, Walmart will be installing Autonomous Shelf Scanners. This will provide real-time view of in-store inventory. Further, the company will be installing the FAST Unloader facility that will sort inventory easily. Additionally, stores will be bolstering grocery delivery services, as the facility is rapidly gaining popularity among consumers.
Notably, Walmart’s initiatives in the delivery services realm are quite a treat for consumers. In previous developments, the company teamed with Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie. It has also inked deals with Postmates, DoorDash and Parcel Inc as well as with ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft for quick online grocery deliveries.
While consumers’ digital dependency is a boon for e-commerce, Walmart is utilizing this trend to perk up brick-and-mortar sales. In fact, physical stores have become a key link to drive online shopping, courtesy of strategies like in-store pickups. Such augmentation efforts have been empowering traditional stores and have strengthened their position in the retail space.
Prudent Endeavor’s to Develop Omnichannel Retailing
Well, Walmart’s store upgradation efforts bear testimony to the fact that it is actively undertaking efforts to incorporate digitalization trends and create diverse shopping experiences. Apart from store growth, the company is pursuing efforts to boost e-commerce revenues. To this end, the company’s partnerships with Microsoft MSFT and Rakuten as well as the buyouts of ShoeBuy, Moosejaw, Bonobos, ModCloth and Jet.com are noteworthy. Also, Walmart’s acquisition of 77% stake in Flipkart is likely to bolster e-commerce sales in the long run.
Wrapping it up, we believe that Walmart’s efforts will fortify its presence in the rapidly evolving retail space and help it compete better with industry behemoth Amazon AMZN. In fact, Walmart’s relentless endeavors to build a robust omnichannel empire are boosting investors’ optimism. Notably, the Zacks Rank #3 (hold) stock has gained 4.7% in the past three months compared with the industry’s 3.5% rise.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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