Your local Walmart may be getting a redesign soon, as the big box chain is taking a page from airports and adding way-finding signs to help customers efficiently navigate stores. It appears the new Walmart store design is also drawing inspiration from Amazon, one of its biggest competitors, with an emphasis on an “omni shopping” model that encourages customers to shop both in-store and from their phones, remaining loyal to the retailer.
With the new store layouts, Walmart is counting on customers to be armed with their smartphones while shopping, using the store’s app to easily locate items with a new number and letter aisle-marking system.
Walmart will also be encouraging shoppers to download its app to do things like search for an expanded inventory online, price-check items on the spot and do things like design a custom cake for pick up in the bakery.
The redesigned stores come shortly after Walmart’s launch of a new membership program, Walmart+, that, much like Amazon Prime, includes perks for its members. For $98 a year, Walmart+ members get access to unlimited delivery on more than 160,000 items (with some stores delivering as quickly as the same day), plus discounts on gas.
As for its brick-and-mortar stores, Walmart says the new layout will be rolled out to 200 stores by early next year, and an additional 800 stores will get the new look by the start of 2022.
Even if you’re not shopping with the store’s app, you’ll likely notice a difference as Walmart will be incorporating colorful iconography throughout the store. Bold dimensional typeface in the grocery section, for instance, will help customers locate items — “SEAFOOD,” “BEEF,” “DAIRY,” etc. — from afar.
The idea for reimagining Walmart’s layout began before the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s even more relevant now as shoppers are looking for ways to shorten their trips and limit their interactions with other people while shopping in-store.
What do you think of Walmart’s forthcoming new look?