Walmart unveils airport-inspired store design and layout enabling digital omnichannel customer journey

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Walmart
Photo: Walmart

Related tags: Walmart, omnichannel

As part of its technology-driven retail strategy, Walmart has unveiled a new digitally-enabled look and feel to its store design and layout rolling out to hundreds of stores this year to create an “instant omni-shopping experience in the customer’s mind.”

Walmart EVP and chief customer officer, Janey Whiteside, said, “Developed through a customer-centric lens, the design creates an elevated experience that appeals to shoppers through a sleek design aesthetic, a layout that spotlights products and an end-to-end digital navigation that guides customers throughout their journeys.”​ 

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The new store concept has been tested in select stores and will be rolled out to more stores this fall, said Walmart. By the end of the 2021 fiscal year, the refreshed shopping experience will be in nearly 1,000 stores including close to 200 Walmart Supercenters, as well as select Health Centers and Neighborhood Markets.

New store design and digital experience highlights the Walmart app

To bring its new design aesthetic and digital omnichannel shopping experience to life, Walmart has updated the signage on the exterior and interior of its stores to reflect the Walmart app icon.

“As customers enter the store, they are greeted with clean, colorful iconography and a store directory that encourages them to download and use the Walmart app while they shop,”​ said Whiteside.

Throughout the store, bold, dimensional typeface (e.g. SEAFOOD, BEEF and DAIRY) directs customers to the exact section they are looking for, while aisles are marked with letter and number combinations to guide customers from phone to product, added Whiteside.

“By creating a system that acknowledges our app navigation from beginning to end, we create an optimized omni experience for both customers and associates."

Airport-inspired design cues

To direct the millions of shoppers that pass through Walmart stores on a weekly basis in the most efficient way possible, the retailer took a few design and layout cues from airports, added Whiteside.

“We were inspired by airport wayfinding systems as best-in-class examples of how to direct large groups of people.

"We developed simple yet thoughtful designs to replicate these navigation efficiencies, which will help us move customers through the store more quickly,”​ she said, adding that Walmart has optimized product layout throughout different categories of the store bringing greater visibility to key items with dedicated in-store sections.

Stores will also include more self-checkout kiosks and contactless payment solutions including Scan & Go technology at select locations.

Customer feedback driven

As Walmart tests out its new store layout and design concept, it will continue to gather feedback from customers and store associates and evolve the design accordingly. 

“We’ve tested the new concept in select stores and are excited by the initial feedback from customers and associates,”​ said Whiteside.

“We’re always listening to our customers and innovating our in-store, online and mobile experiences to meet and exceed their expectations. We want their time with us to be enjoyable, and we’re working hard to create ways for them easily toggle between shopping channels – or use them together.”

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