BENTONVILLE, Ark — Walmart has announced four new test centers in the country that will be utilized to continuously rotate new technology, digital tools, and physical enhancements in and out of the stores to better serve customers. Two of the selected locations are in Northwest Arkansas!
Those locations are:
- Bentonville Neighborhood Market #2686, 1703 E. Central Ave
- Springdale Supercenter #4108, 4870 Elm Springs Road
Both of the locations are up and running and the other two are yet to start.
Walmart says, "We’re moving quickly to use our physical retail stores to not only serve in-store shoppers but to flex to meet the needs of online shoppers, too, in ways that only Walmart can."
Below are a few examples of what is being tested.
- Omni-assortment – Not everything stocked in stores today can be found online. In our first test store, we’re moving most of the in-store apparel assortment online, and we will continue to identify other hard-to-manage categories that we can work to make available. By doing so, we’ll learn what it takes to make all eligible items in the store truly omni– available for customers online and in the store.
- Inventory speed – We recently developed an app that speeds up the time it takes to get items from the backroom to the salesfloor. Instead of scanning each box individually, associates just hold up a handheld device and the app uses augmented reality to highlight the boxes that are ready to go. Product gets on the shelf faster – something we all know is increasingly important.
- First-time pick rate – We’re currently testing how we can use a combination of in-store signage and handheld devices to help our associates navigate to the right locations when picking items for an online order. So far, this simple change has reduced the time it takes our associates to find the items. In fact, the percentage of times associates find the item on their first attempt has gone up by 20 percent in some of the categories that tend to be our hardest to pick. What this means for customers is that their orders get filled faster.
- Checkout experience – These stores will continue to build upon a new experimental checkout experience we introduced earlier this year to help transform a transactional experience into a relational one. We will continue to test different hardware and software solutions focused on enhancing, and even re-imagining, a contact-free checkout experience for customers.
More will be shared soon about how Walmart is reimagining other physical assets to better serve the needs of customers today and in the future.