Changes are coming to a neighborhood Walmart. Eight stores across Missouri will receive updates to the tune of roughly $53 million this year. The remodels have already hit the Walmart in Nixa, and it’s coming to those in cities like Rolla, Joplin and Houston, too.
“This is a huge investment that will shape the future of retail in Missouri, changing how people shop and changing how store associates better serve customers,” a Walmart news release says.
Changes include free grocery pickup services, grocery delivery, a Walmart Pickup Tower and more.
“Our customers across the state continue to embrace many innovations allowing them to shop in a way that suits their life, saving them time and money,” Walmart Vice President and Regional General Manager in Missouri Terry Nannie said.
The grocery pickup allows customers to shop online and quickly pick up items without leaving their cars.
“The best part: it’s all at no additional cost. Walmart plans to expand the popular program to 43 stores across the state by the end of the year,” the release adds. “The company also recently introduced Walmart Voice Order, which allows customers to simply say, ‘Hey Google, talk to Walmart,’ and the Google Assistant will add items directly to their Walmart Grocery cart.”
Pickup towers add to the convenience. They’re 16-foot tall vending machines capable of filling a customer’s online order in less than a minute after they arrive at the store.
“It’s easy to do—once the order is ready, step up to the pickup tower and scan the barcode sent to your smartphone to retrieve your item,” the release says. “This year, Walmart plans to add 21 pickup towers to stores across the state.”
Changes also include conveniences for store workers, including autonomous floor scrubbers and autonomous shelf scanners.
“These scanners use automation to scan shelves and help identify where in-stock levels are low, prices re wrong, or labels are missing,” the release says. “In addition, the scanners provide a real-time view of inventory in the store—information used to direct associates to the areas of the store that need the most attention.”
FAST unloaders, according to the release, will also be added to several Walmart stores to help employees.
“A new system in Walmart backrooms—known as FAST—automatically scans and sorts items that come off trucks based on priority and department, allowing associates to spend less time unloading in the backroom and more time on the sales floor with customers.”
The changes have been available to Nixa Walmart customers since May 2, when a grand re-opening was held.