IADS Exclusive: Is Walmart’s new store concept good enough to compete with Target and Amazon?
As of 2022, Walmart accounts for 10,585 stores in 24 countries, operating under 46 different names in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, India, China and South Africa to name a few. Walmart is the world's largest company by revenue, with about $570 billion in annual revenue, according to the Fortune Global 500 list (Amazon comes second). It is also the largest private employer in the world with 2.2 million employees. Walmart was the largest United States grocery retailer in 2019, and 65% of their sales came from U.S. operations.
To keep its position and secure recurring customers, Walmart started a transformation before Covid to offer in-store seamless omni-shopping experiences. The new Walmart store has convenience, experience, and membership in mind, and it’s no surprise. The transformation came in 2 phases: the first one was completed in September 2020, and the second one has been in testing since February 2022. While the first phase was focusing on in-store navigation and efficiency, the second one is about giving stores a new look and feel, as well as offering customers a digitally enabled shopping experience. In parallel, the Walmart+ membership program was launched and gained traction.
On the one hand, by developing new visual merchandising features, Walmart is encroaching on Target’s turf, both taking cues from department stores that are usually masters in the visual merchandising area. On the other hand, by heavily boosting their membership program, they are chasing after Amazon.
IADS provides its members with a weekly in-depth analysis on retail-oriented topics. This is an example of the themes the Association regularly addresses, and the topic of an article from the IADS members-only newsletter date 9 November 2022.