Designing Interactive Stores that ‘Wow’

Jan. 27, 2022

3 Min. Read

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For millions of customers, our stores and associates are the reason they love Walmart. They are the greatest assets for our brand. We’re always listening to our customers’ and associates’ feedback to help inspire, evolve and refresh the store experience.

Today, we’re unveiling a new, signature experience in our incubator location, Store 4108 in Springdale, Arkansas, that we call “Time Well Spent.” It focuses on making Walmart a destination where customers want to spend their time.

In today’s omnichannel world, customers still want to experience – touch, feel and try – items. So, we’re now aiming to make customers feel wowed and proud when they shop with us. We’re using powerful design elements to show off amazing products that wow our customers, and when they see the value, they are proud of their choice and purchase.

Last year, we announced the first phase of our store redesign that was focused on navigation and wayfinding. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we now have close to 1,000 stores renovated with this new design to help customers save time in finding what they need.

In this next phase of our redesign, we’re amplifying the physical, human and digital design elements in our stores to inspire customers and elevate the experience. Physical elements include lighting, space enhancements, dynamic displays and more. Our visual merchandising experts have highlighted exciting brands and created engaging experiences that bring to life the human element. Finally, QR codes and digital screens create opportunities for digital exploration. But making the store more engaging isn’t enough. We have to do all of this in a way that is unique to Walmart.

Here are our guiding design principles for 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 we have to offer.
    • Home may feature a living room or bedroom set up where the customer can squeeze a throw pillow or feel the coziness of a blanket, then find those items onsite to purchase and take home, or order them online.
  • Elevated brand shops: Taking a “store within a store experience” to the next level.
    • Apparel will highlight owned and national brands. Great prices are a given, but we’ll celebrate quality and style, in style.
    • New parents will not want for inspiration when they visit the Baby department.  They will be greeted by 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.
    • Beauty will also showcase exciting shops where new and trending items are given a home, and men’s grooming tools can be seen and experienced.
  • More space to discover: In these new reimagined spaces, we have purposefully created more space for our customers to explore and discover the breadth and depth of what our stores have to offer, and we’ve optimized assortment to elevate storytelling that draws customers in.
  • Digital touchpoints: Using our stores as an initial display of the great variety of products and brands, we can communicate to customers the vast range of products and services Walmart offers online through the strategic use of QR codes and digital screens. For example, in our Pets area, a customer may scan the QR code to find additional dog bed options, learn about Walmart’s pet insurance service options or have a 20-pound bag of kibble delivered to their door.

Early results show that customers are wowed by the redesign. 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. As we do that, we’ll quickly adjust and deliver an even better, more engaging experience in 2022 and beyond. After all, when customers choose to shop in-store with us, we want them to feel wowed and inspired – and that their time was well spent.