Walmart is to redo its Produce Section
What do you see the minute you walk into Walmart? It does depend on the side of the store as the retail giant is so, well, giant, but most of the time it’s groceries, right? Walmart loves to flaunt it in Amazon’s face and today the merchant thinks that those grocery isles need a bit if face lift themselves.
The upcoming changes will include new price signs, shorter merchandise bins, and overall open market kind of feeling. There will be a separate area for organic produce. The retailer also wants to make isles wider to make sure customers and employees who are fulfilling online orders won’t have to congregate in small spaces.
According to Walmart, this change is facilitated mainly because of online grocery order popularity and expansion. There have always been associates in produce isles refilling the bins and helping customers, but now so many more of them have to be there to get online orders ready that the stores need wider aisles. The retailer is calling these changes “Produce 2.0” and the work has already started at 200 locations. The expected completion of all the renovations is in summer of 2020. There are over 2,700 Walmart stores in the US, so there is definitely some serious work waiting to be done.
It turns out that 95% of customers love to shop for produce in-stores, which is still an astounding number. And with all efforts to sell more groceries online, in-store numbers are still growing – Nielsen study found that last year produce sales grew by 2.6%.
People love fresh and that’s not what Walmart has always been known for, but it now intends to change that perception. New look might be just what the store needs to convince shoppers that its groceries are as good as Kroger’s, Publix’s, and even Whole Food’s.
All Walmart’s competition is also investing heavily into their production sections and offers. Aldi has been expanding its produce section and organic offers while Kroger’s new slogan is “Fresh for Everyone”. Kroger announced that it will be going as far as growing its own vegetables in hydroponic farms in Washington State. That right there is hard to beat!
Walmart wants to retain the name of the biggest grocer in America that it had for the last 31 years. Walmart had grocery section since 1988 when the first superstore was opened. Groceries have always been Walmart’s cash cow with 56% of all revenue, which is $500 billion. Walmart is the biggest grocer in America with 20% of all grocery industry hold, but maintaining that in today’s competitive climate is getting more and more difficult.
To maintain the status of the biggest grocer Walmart is going to have to do more than just lower the prices and speed up the supply chain, which it has been doing for a few years now. The retailer wants to focus on quality, which has been the main complaint about Walmart many consumers always have. All those things are needed to compete with fellow brick and mortar stores.
When it comes to online competition, Walmart has been investing into grocery delivery systems and is also planning to open a store in Los Angeles that will be an alternative to Whole Foods, another “in your face” to Amazon, which owns Whole Foods since 2017.
Over 3,000 Walmart locations now have in-store pick up option and home delivery is available in 1,400 locations. Customers can get unlimited grocery delivery for $98 per year from those stores. All of that is paying off as proven by online sales rising 41% in the last quarter.