- Walmart is introducing a new format for its produce departments to make it easier for customers to shop and associates to work, according to a blog post from the company. The retailer has already started making changes in some locations and will have a majority of stores updated by next summer.
- Among the new features is an open-market feel, with low-profile displays that allow shoppers to better see the produce. Walmart will also move all organic produce items to one area to create more of a one-stop shop for customers looking to buy organic.
- Additionally, the aisles in the produce department will now be wider and the display bins will allow customers to shop from multiple sides for a quicker experience. New signage will be larger and brighter to highlight prices.
Walmart has been working to refresh its produce departments for a few years now, the blog post said. The company had previously worked on the layout, added more organic and local options and tried to speed up its supply chain to offer fresher produce.
The goal of this latest revamp for the produce department is to make sure shoppers notice the improved quality and freshness of the food Walmart carries, the company said.
"With all the work we’ve done to increase quality in our produce department, we saw an opportunity to change up our in-store look and feel to even further emphasize the quality of the food we sell," Charles Redfield, executive vice president of food for Walmart U.S., wrote in the blog post.
Refreshed produce departments are one of the first orders of business for many grocers as they look to enhance or remodel their in-store experience. Aldi’s new stores emphasize larger, brighter produce departments, while ShopRite has doubled down on local produce. Save Mart’s new flagship store in Fresno features a state-of-the-art, farm-style produce section.
With competition hitting Walmart’s grocery efforts from all sides — from the threat of Amazon’s physical grocery stores to the red-hot growth of discount grocers like Aldi and Dollar General — ongoing improvement in stores is just as important as its efforts in e-commerce. The grocer has made other notable efforts in its attempt to offer fresher, better quality groceries, such as establishing its own end-to-end supply chain for Angus beef.
Walmart’s mission to improve its fresh food offerings is paying off. CEO Doug McMillon noted during Walmart’s Q3 earnings call that food and grocery are driving growth for the company, particularly online.