Walmart Canada investing in store renovations, technology

Walmart Canada is investing more than $110 million this year, including in-store renovations and technology, to provide a faster, safer and simpler shopping experience whether customers shop in-store, online, or with pickup at the store. 

As part of its omnichannel acceleration, Walmart will pilot 10 hybrid locations — supercenters with expanded omnichannel fulfilment space to increase the speed of fulfilment for pickup and delivery. In addition to serving customers’ online demands, the hybrid store will serve as an incubator to test future omnichannel features.

The retailer said its new hybrid concept store, in Vaughan, Ontario, is now the most modern omnichannel store in its network. The new store features a 10,000-sq.-ft. omnichannel fulfilment space, the largest of any Walmart in Canada, that can fulfill as many as eight times the online orders of an average Walmart store.

In addition, the Vaughan store has a large drive-up area for pick-up, where customers can park and have their order loaded into their car. It also features more efficient technology to support employees.

“The speed of change is being dictated by customer demand and we are deepening our investments in our digital footprint and omnichannel offering more than ever,” said Alexis Lanternier, executive VP, eCommerce, Walmart Canada. 

Walmart noted that its omnichannel acceleration is part of a larger $3.5 billion investment in all aspects of its business, which the chain announced in July.

Walmart’s omnichannel enhancements include the following:

Renovations: More than 130 store renovations during the next few years to make new space for e-commerce, including approximately 19 this year.
Pickup: Expanding Walmart grocery pickup services to approximately 270 stores – or 70% of locations – by the end of 2020.
Mobile check-in: Rolling out mobile check-in across the country so customers can check-in for their grocery orders while on the route, making the pickup speed quicker.
Delivery: Reducing the minimum order value from $50 to $35 for free grocery pickup and Walmart grocery delivery ($9.97 fee).
Hiring: Thousands of employees are currently being hired for omnichannel-related roles to meet customer demand.
Third-party partners: Expanding the availability of third-party partners, such as Instacart and Cornershop, to be offered in more stores across the country.

This story originally appeared on Chain Store Age