Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, has announced that its website will be revamped to offer more personalization. The redesign of Walmart’s website will also involve making it look more vibrant by through use of color and photography. On the homepage a new section will be introduced which will showcase the best-selling items near a customer’s location. There will also be specialty shopping experience and this includes the flagship online store of Lord & Taylor which will be unveiled this spring following the announcement of a partnership last fall.
Walmart has emerged as one of the big online retail platforms and has posed a competitive threat to Amazon by providing free shipping services without requiring a membership fee when the purchases are worth at least $35. This year Walmart projects its online sales to grow by 40% to become the fastest growing unit of the company’s business. The big box retailer has also indicated that it will introduce grocery delivery for online orders to about 100 markets before this year ends.
Walmart’s expansion in online retail has not been smooth all the way though. According to the chief executive officer of Walmart, Doug McMillon, in Q4 the giant retailer recorded slower online sales growth due to the fact that it ran out of stock with regards to some products at the fulfilment centers in the course of the busy holiday shopping period.
Besides the revamping of its website Walmart is also spending $11 billion to remodel 500 stores as well as open 20 new retail outlets. The remodeling will involve widening the aisles, making the shelves shorter and putting up new signs as well as flooring. Walmart’s electronics department will also be redesigned and interactive displays introduced while the pharmacy area will be updated and private consultation rooms introduced.
“The plan is to continue improving stores and accelerating innovation during the coming year to make shopping faster and easier for our customers. We’ll also continue to look for ways to improve our processes to empower our associates,” said a Walmart spokesperson.
Most of the remodeling of stores will take place in Walmart stores located in the states of Texas and Florida. The giant retailer will spend approximately $477 million in these states to remodel 82 retail outlets and open 14 new outlets. In the state of California Walmart has allocated $145 million for the opening of new stores and remodeling.