At Store No. 8, a Look Toward Retail’s Future

By Katie Finnegan
December 5, 2017
Participant using technology at the Innov8: V-Commerce Gala

These days, if something is convenient, it’s probably been made possible by technology.

Over the past few years, the possibilities of what we can do, obtain, expect – have all shifted drastically. That’s especially true when it comes to retail. We now live in a time when we can simply tap our fingers on a smartphone screen to order almost anything and have it delivered, for free, in two days or less. And not too far off is the ability to experience shopping in a virtual setting without leaving the comfort of our homes.

These digitally enabled experiences are shaping the future of commerce. My team, Store No. 8, works to pinpoint the ideas, people and innovations that will be a part of that. We’re a standalone incubation arm within Walmart, which means we get to do things from a unique position: Not only do we have the benefit of Walmart’s vantage point into the heart of America, but by operating somewhat apart from the corporation, we have the freedom to develop new ideas that can thrive outside existing definitions of retail.
Today’s consumers have rapidly evolving expectations. To keep up, you’ve got to constantly be on watch for what’s new. At the same time, you have to be comfortable with those new things always changing. Building new horizons in the context of a company like Walmart is pretty amazing, because new technologies and business models can impact so much – from everyday things like making grocery shopping a little more convenient, to the extraordinary: changing key ways the retail world works.

So, just as the mouse has given way to touchscreens, there are all sorts of possibilities for the changes that lie waiting in the future. At Store No. 8, our job is to get ahead of those shifts, by continually spotting and seizing the technologies that get us there.