Walmart Canada says it is investing more than $110 million this year to improve its omnichannel shopping experience. The announcement is part of a $3.5 billion investment it announced earlier this year.
The retailer says it wants to offer customers a faster and safer shopping experience while shopping in-store, via pickup or online.
"In these busy and challenging times, we know customers want choice and convenience more than ever," says Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO, Walmart Canada. "This is a very exciting time at Walmart Canada, as we invest in the business, accelerate our omnichannel efforts and make the shopping experience easy and simple for our customers."
The investment will be allocated to store renovations and technology. For instance, it is adapting more square footage in some stores across the country to serve as expanded omnichannel fulfillment space for online delivery and pickup.
Here is a rundown of the changes.
- Hybrid locations: Piloting 10 hybrid locations – supercentres with expanded omnichannel fulfilment space within their stores to increase the speed of fulfilment for pickup and delivery.
- Renovations: More than 130 store renovations over the next few years to make new space for eCommerce, including approximately 19 this year.
- Pickup: Expanding Walmart Grocery Pickup to approximately 270 stores – or 70 per cent 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 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 new associates are also currently being hired for omnichannel related roles to meet customer demand.
- Third-party partners: Expanding availability of third-party partners, such as Instacart and Cornershop, to be offered in more stores across the country.
Hybrid concept store
Walmart's new hybrid concept store in Vaughan, Ont., handles customer's online demands and serves as an incubator for testing of future omnichannel features. The store is designed with a 10,000 sq ft fulfillment space within the store, the largest of any Walmart in Canada, and can fulfill as many as eight times the online orders of an average Walmart store. Other features include a large drive-up pickup area and more efficient technology to support employees.