Coronavirus and the resultant social distancing have aggravated the digital shopping pattern, which has long been gaining traction. To resonate well with the evolving trends, retailers like Walmart Inc. WMT have been walking the extra mile with their robust omnichannel endeavors. The world’s largest retailer has taken another step in this regard, as it unveiled an absolutely fresh look and feel for its stores, which will offer customers digitally-supported shopping experience.
Walmart has already tested the new concept in certain stores and is encouraged by the initial response. The company plans to roll out the new concept to more stores this fall and by the end of this fiscal, the concept is expected in about 200 Supercenters and some Health Centers and Neighborhood Markets. The concept is likely to hit nearly 1,000 stores by fiscal 2022.
The New Concept in Detail
The updated signage in the interior and outside of the stores will reflect the icon of Walmart app, which will instantly create an omni-shopping concept in customers’ minds. Customers are likely to be encouraged to download the Walmart app on entering the stores and will be welcomed with an attractive iconography and store directory. Further, inspired by airport navigation systems, the new concept includes thoughtful designs, which will enable customers to move through stores more seamlessly. Also, Walmart has optimized the layout of its products, which will help customers get better visibility of the key store items.
Finally, the new concept in stores includes self-checkout kiosks and contactless payment solutions such as Walmart Pay. Some stores will also feature the Scan & Go option to facilitate direct customer checkout. These moves are likely to minimize the contact between customers and store employees, thereby ensuring safety amid the pandemic.
Certainly, Walmart is making all the effort with regard to keeping pace with customers’ evolving needs and the changing retail landscape. In fact, this is not new for the company that has been focused on making innovation to its stores, online and mobile experience to cater to customers’ changing demands. Such efforts have been helping the omnichannel retailer stay firm against the stifling competition from Amazon AMZN. In fact, Walmart’s splendid online endeavors helped its U.S. e-commerce sales to register a 97% surge in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
All said, we believe that the aforementioned new concept in stores is likely to be a strong arrow in Walmart’s omnichannel quiver and further augment its business amid the social-distancing trends. Markedly, the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has rallied 17.3% in the past three months compared with the industry’s rise of 13.7%.
Other Key Retail Stocks
Target TGT, with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings per share growth rate of 7.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Kroger KR, with a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings per share growth rate of 6.2%.
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