Walmart is rolling out sleek new store designs

by AryanArtnews
0 comment
Walmart is rolling out sleek new store designs

Walmart has introduced a new look at five flagship stores, including its big box store in Teterboro, NJ. The renovated stores have brighter lighting, mannequins and more spacious aisles.

Melissa Repko | CNBC

As Walmart‘s cheap groceries lure shoppers, the retailer is rolling out a new strategy aimed at getting them into other aisles: stores with brighter lights, fashion-forward mannequins and colorful displays of makeup, pet supplies and more.

The big-box retailer, known for competing on value, has turned five of its SuperCenters into flagship stores with the revamped look. They are located in Teterboro and North Bergen in New Jersey; Yaphank, New York; Quakertown, Pennsylvania.; and Hodgkins, Illinois. All of the flagships debuted in the past three months — with North Bergen and Teterboro opening in mid-January.

And at least one more is on the way soon: A remodel of the store in Secaucus, New Jersey, is planned for next month.

Walmart’s sleeker look is part of a broader effort to sell more discretionary items — like jeans, lipstick and baby strollers — that typically carry a higher profit margin than groceries. Last summer, he tested the slimmer model at one of his big-box stores in Springdale, Arkansas, a short drive from his corporate headquarters.

Alvis Washington, Walmart’s vice president of marketing, store design, innovation and experience, said it was time to bring the look to other markets after receiving positive feedback in Arkansas. In company surveys, he said nearly every shopper said the store’s displays and mannequins encouraged them to browse longer.

“They appreciate the fact that we’re still true to who we are as Walmart,” he said. “Fantastic prices. But then we also now have these new brands that we’re actually showcasing in inspiring ways.”

Walmart’s new store design includes displays that show how a customer can decorate a nursery or kitchen. The displays also include a QR code that pulls up more merchandise on Walmart’s website.

Melissa Repko | CNBC

The company is rebuilding the stores – and taking some store features from competitor Target – at a time when more high-income households are shopping at the retail giant. In the past two quarters, about 75% of its market share gains in food came from households earning more than $100,000 a year, according to Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey.

Those shoppers can become a fresh audience for Walmart’s exclusive brands, such as a style- and value-oriented activewear brand, Love & Sports, developed with fashion designer Michelle Smith and SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith, and a kitchen- and home decor line called Beautiful, which was co-developed with Drew Barrymore. It also has a variety of clothing from national brands, such as Levi Strauss, Wrangler and Reebok.

“They’ve been kind of a one-trick pony,” said Scott Mushkin, a retail analyst and CEO of R5 Capital. “They’ve always been about price and what they’re doing now is, yes, they’re still leading on price. But they’re starting to accelerate the dynamics in stores that matter to other people, along with value.”

He said it is notable that Walmart has chosen to rebuild some of the stores near New York, a competitive market where it has struggled in previous attempts to gain traction.

Mushkin had been a critic of Walmart for its shoddy stores, but has changed his tune. He said store leaders and employees turned things around. And he said that, along with sharper-looking shelves and neater displays, Walmart has demonstrated its skills by working more with well-recognized brands and developing more stylish private labels.

At Walmart’s flagship stores, such as the one in Teterboro, NJ, Walmart plays up many of its exclusive brands such as activewear brands, Love & Sports and Beautiful, a kitchen and home decor line developed with Drew Barrymore.

Melissa Repko | CNBC

Walmart declined to say how many of its roughly 4,700 U.S. stores will get the new look. Through a spokeswoman, the company said it will share its plans for remodeling and capital expenditures for the fiscal year when it reports earnings in late February. The company would not say how much it spent on the changes, nor how the cost compares to other renovations.

However, Washington has already said that some elements of the revamped store — such as displays displaying Walmart’s clothing brands — have been added to 30 stores.

The retailer completed nearly 500 store renovations in the U.S. as of the third quarter, which ended Oct. 31. It did about 600 last financial year and about 500 in the previous financial year.

Still, Walmart needs to prove that its revamped stores can persuade shoppers to spend even if they feel the pinch of inflation and think twice about buying more than they need. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a CNBC interview this summer that even wealthier customers are more price conscious because of high inflation.

The company revised its outlook for the fiscal year, which ends at the end of January, saying it expects same-store sales to be higher in the U.S. but profit margins will be lower as shoppers buy more food and fewer discretionary items.

Walmart’s new store design features many discretionary goods that typically have a higher profit margin than groceries, including makeup and other beauty items.

Melissa Repko | CNBC

Washington declined to share data on Walmart’s store traffic and sales at its Springdale store and other flagships that have opened in recent months.

Still, its new store design appears to be resonating with shoppers, according to data from, an analytics firm that uses anonymized data from mobile devices to estimate overall visits to locations.

Visits to its Walmart store in Springdale, Ark. — the original prototype — were far higher than what an average Walmart or Target location receives. In the fourth quarter, the store received 31.2% more visits than the average Walmart received during that period. It received 66.6% more visits than the average Target received during that time.

Some of that additional foot traffic may come from Walmart’s hometown advantage and with many employees living nearby and shopping the store.

But the new layout is also winning some converts outside of Arkansas.

Victor Millan, of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, shops weekly at the Walmart in Teterboro for groceries and other items. Since the store debuted its new look about two weeks ago, the 45-year-old father of four said he’s spent more time in the new-look Walmart — about twice as long per visit, from about half an hour to closer to an hour.

On Thursday, while looking for a pair of Wrangler jeans, Millan said he felt the store now offers higher quality clothing, and lots of it.

“I’m not a fan of clothes shopping,” he said, “but they have so many things.”

Related Posts