WALMART has undergone a transformation this year as the retail giant aims to provide customers with greater convenience.
The superstore has already implemented a series of new policies and updates, with more to come this spring.
While some of Walmart’s changes have generated positive feedback from customers, such as those who prefer the store’s new text-to-shop option, some shoppers are wracked with other policies.
The US Sun has outlined all the changes to watch out for in your neighborhood market this year.
1. NEW HEALTH CENTERS
During the rest of the year, Walmart puts more emphasis on its health centers.
Walmart Health Centers are clinics that provide affordable medical care for people with and without insurance.
While the retailer currently only has 32 health centers, it plans to increase the number to 75 by the end of 2024.
Shoppers could receive medical attention during their daily shopping, boosting Walmart’s revenue.
Services include dental, medical, psychiatric and behavioral care.
New locations are coming to the following metropolitan areas: Dallas (10), Houston (eight), Phoenix (six), and Kansas City (four).
But that’s probably just the beginning of Walmart’s expansion into the health arena.
2. BEAUTY OPTIONS galore
Beauty enthusiasts will be happy to hear that Walmart is adding 50 new products to the beauty division.
All products are from Olive & June, a home nail company that offers nail tools, treatments, nail polish and other beauty treatments.
The collection will be available online and at more than 2,500 locations.
3. GOODBYE PLASTIC BAGS
Walmart has been moving toward sustainability for several years, but the next step is to update its single-use plastic bag policy.
Walmart made the change as more states continue to pass laws banning the plastic bags.
As a result, more than 100 stores are getting rid of the bags this year alone.
Shoppers in the following states must bring their own bags or use a paper bag – which may cost a small fee in some places:
To implement the new policy, Walmart is selling its reusable bags near the checkout counter for about 74 cents.
4. NEW DESIGN
Walmart’s new store layouts plan to welcome shoppers to the “store of the future.”
Walmart hopes to improve the customer experience by updating the look and layout of stores.
Last year, the first store of the future was opened in Beavercreek, Ohio, after extensive renovations.
The store features bedroom and bathroom displays of Walmart products similar to what you’d see in Ikea.
To make shopping easier, the displays have QR codes that customers can scan to learn more about the items.
There are now over 1,000 locations with these updates.
5. UPCOMING CLOSURES
Unfortunately, not all changes in Walmart stores are positive.
As the retail apocalypse continues, the chain has been forced to close stores that failed to meet financial expectations.
All takeout and delivery restaurants in Arkansas and Illinois will be closed February 17.
Meanwhile, Walmart stores in Plainfield and Homewood, Illinois, as well as some in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will officially close on March 10.
There are more to come, including the Pinellas Park, Florida location on March 17 and a unit in Washington, DC on March 31.
6. DRONE DELIVERY
Walmart customers in 36 stores can now have their purchases delivered by drone in seven states.
The initiative was first announced in 2021 and the new option now allows customers to receive their order in 30 minutes or less.
6,000 deliveries have already been made through delivery hubs powered by DroneUp, Flytrex and Zipline.
7. FIGHT AGAINST CRIME
Shoplifting is at an all-time high, so Walmart has taken extreme measures to prevent further crime.
CEO Doug McMillon said persistent shoplifting could cause stores to close and prices to rise.
Because of this, Walmart has stepped up its game by adding locks and anti-theft devices to a range of everyday items.
Shoppers resisted the changes, citing frustrations over how many items now require an employee to unlock them, dramatically increasing shopping time.
One customer tweeted, “I’ve outgrown Walmart. I needed deodorant and a new phone charger, both items less than 10 bucks, both items locked behind some plastic and you all know their workers are kings and queens of hiding in the back. Travel from 10 minutes in 30 for what exactly?!”
8. TEXT TO SHOP
While the anti-theft devices are likely to increase the time it takes you to shop, you can avoid it altogether by using Walmart’s text-to-shop feature.
The service was officially launched in December, making it even easier for customers to order groceries.
Shoppers can access the feature through the Walmart app and order groceries by texting them a list of what they need.
They can also text “reorder” to view and add frequently purchased items.
Everything is paid for in the app and then the customer schedules a pick-up time.
Closing sales are taking place at several Walmart locations across the country as the retailer plans to close their doors forever.
And see how savvy shoppers discovered a spring break essential at Walmart for just $3.