Walmart unveils new, upgraded store design

Marianne Wilson
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Walmart is looking to put the “wow” in its stores.

The retail giant unveiled a new, signature experience at its incubator location (Store 4108) in Springdale, Ark. The goal is to make Walmart a destination where customers want to spend their time, the company said.

In fall 2020, Walmart introduced the first phase of its store redesign, which was focused on navigation and wayfinding. Nearly 1,000 stores have since been renovated with the design.

The next phase of the redesign enhances Walmart stores’ physical, human and digital design elements “to inspire customers and elevate the experience,” the retailer said. The physical elements include lighting, space enhancements and dynamic displays.

In addition, visual merchandising experts have highlighted exciting brands and created engaging experiences that bring to life the human element. Also new: QR codes and digital screens.

Here are the highlights of the redesign.

  • Activated corners: Exciting displays at the corners of certain departments pull customers in and help them touch, feel and become a part of the space, allowing them to discover all that is available.

The home area, for example, may feature a living room or bedroom set up where the customer can squeeze a throw pillow or feel a blanket, then find those items onsite to purchase and take home, or order them online.

  • Elevated brand shops: The new design highlights a “store within a store experience.” Apparel will highlight owned and national brands. The baby department will feature elevated displays showcasing all the items needed to create a dream nursery as well as strollers and car seats that are brought out of the box to allow for test drives.

The beauty department will showcase shops that give new and trending items a home.

  • More space to discover:  More space is given for customers to explore and discover the breadth and depth of the store’s offering. The assortment has been optimized to elevate storytelling that draws customers in.
  • Digital touchpoints: The strategic use of QR codes and digital screens conveys to customers the vast range of products and services that Walmart offers online.   

“Early results show that customers are wowed by the redesign,” Alvis Washington, Walmart VP, marketing — store design, innovation and experience, wrote in a post on the company’s website. “I love hearing customers say this is their favorite Walmart store, and it makes me proud to be a part of the team leading this work. We’ll continue to test, learn, and make changes based on what our customers tell us.”