Walmart's New Look

The Lempert Report
March 23, 2022

Phil: What's going on with this whole controversy where everybody's saying that Walmart is trying to copy Target?

Sally: Well, Walmart is trying something new. They are launching this initiative, this new design and approach to shopping that they're calling time well spent. Whereas in the beginning of the pandemic, they were focused more on not having to spend a lot of time being able to get things quickly and being able to get things ordered and delivered. But what we're looking at here is they're creating a corner displays with big screens, smart screens for people to get information with a little more put into the lighting design. And, it, it is, it is, a little bit like what Target has already done with their in-store design, but I'm not sure their they're making the mark here because I don't know that Walmart is cool. 

Phil: Yeah. I, I agree. And also, this great story really talks about the fact that the difference is that Walmart still has the metal ceilings, the open ceilings Target. It has lower ceilings that are white. So it looks warmer. What I find really interesting though, is that what Walmart is doing is they're really using QR codes in a very interesting way. Again, just in this one store it's not universal. So what they're doing is not only are they have having these curated areas in the store, but they might have a QR code there that says, you know, you wanna buy a hundred pound bag of, of dog food, just snap this QR code and we'll deliver it to you. It could bring up the entire collection for shirts, the dimensions on a piece of furniture, color options on furniture. 

Phil: You can do a QR code and find a shirt to match the pants that you're looking at. So what's, what's really interesting to me is not necessarily store format, but how Walmart is really going interactive with QR codes in a very meaningful way, much more than I think anybody else. And, you know, we've talked before about how Walmart has these, all these patents now, or trademark, sorry, in the metaverse and the, a QR code in the metaverse is gonna become even more important than it is now. So it, it it's, it's gonna be something to watch. 

Sally: Yes. I love the QR codes. I think that those are extremely helpful and really add a, a different layer to the shopping experience. You don't wanna have to grab a store employee and say, oh, I want this couch, but you know, how do I get it in this color? You know, you can just do it all right there. I just am concerned when they say things like, you know, we're not changing the warehouse ceilings and the warehouse look because that signifies to people value, which is great, but when it comes to home designs and things that you're going to, to put in your house, yes, you wanna value, but you don't want it to look and feel cheap. 

Phil: Right. Right. And I, and I think that that's what Walmart, if, if I had to look into a crystal ball, I think that that, that's what Walmart is gonna try to do in the metaverse to become hip, not to, not to get rid of all the other Walmart shoppers, but to get a new generation of people who are going to shop in the metaverse be able to do all these things. And also, let's not forget. I mean, Walmart has 11,400 and I think 41 stores throughout the us. So in order to change those stores, it's something that's really, really expensive, to do.