COVID-19 has changed the way we shop. Even with much of the U.S. back open for business, online sales were still up 40% in August versus the year prior. And Americans have spent $107 billion more online than they had last year by this point.
The days of lazily strolling through store aisles are over, at least for a while. And nowhere is this trend more clear than in Walmart's new store design, which the company is unveiling for the first time today. The design will come to 200 stores around the U.S. by the end of 2020, and 800 more by the end of 2021.
At a glance, it honestly might not look that different. The stores will still have similar snug aisles and unfinished, warehouse-style ceilings. But the updates are in how you navigate that space. Walmart is rearranging many items across the store, consolidating categories such as electronics, toys, and baby products into their own dedicated sections rather than having some items scattered. Then they're loading these stores with clearer signs to point you around the space. These signs match up with the exact categories and icons you'll also find inside the surprisingly great Walmart app. The intended effect is what the company is billing as a "seamless" shopping experience between the digital store and the physical one.