Since its founding in 1962, Walmart has built a reputation as an affordable retailer offering a wide range of household essentials. But it is evolving to ensure that it remains one of the most popular stores in the U.S.
Walmart's entry into the world of supermarketing completely changed the way we shop. Sam Walton, its creator, was convinced from the very beginning of how successful the combination of self-service (before the 1960s, there was no such thing) and discounting could be.
In the Discount Department Store (DDS) sector, it followed the path blazed by its main competitor, KMart. Although WalMart didn’t invent the discount store, it was able to spread the model across the North American continent.
The company was able to correct the mistakes of its competitors and disseminate its corrections in the North American market with surprising speed and efficiency.
And the chain has already announced a number of changes that it hopes will positively impact consumers: fast delivery speeds, home delivery services and new product selection.
This giant doesn’t want to be left behind and inaugurated its first “store of the future” concept. Dubbed the Walmart Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL), this new store features the use of artificial intelligence and a host of technology to automate tasks that for years have been performed by humans.
The newest and clearest example of this is the Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL), a huge 15,240-square-meter store in Levittown, New York, which opened its doors with more than 30,000 items and is operated by just 100 employees with the help of a huge system of cameras and sensors equipped with artificial intelligence.
The system is responsible for monitoring inventory levels to determine, for example, if staff need to take more meat out of storage to replenish the shelves or if any of the fresh produce has been on the shelf too long and needs to be removed.
One of Walmart's great successes was to know how to adapt to the changes and the times. And faced with a consumer who, during the isolation caused by the pandemic, discovered the advantages of e-commerce, Walmart continued to bet on the channel to boost its business.
Post-pandemic, its digital channel reached figures higher than 15% of the company's turnover. To meet this demand, it had head offices located in the main cities of the United States.
With the arrival of this new normality, consumers have changed their habits, prioritizing the possibility of choosing virtuality for certain activities that they used to do in person. In thissense, we are facing a more connected and informed consumer who is looking for a complete, simple and fast shopping experience with personalized and exclusive offers.
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