Retail

Walmart’s New Urban Supercentre Concept

Against the trend to downsize, the mega-retailer takes a super-sized approach to monopolize urban markets

With the announcement of its new ‘Urban Supercentre Concept’, Walmart Canada plans to better address the demands of its customers in Toronto, Ontario. “With our new Urban Supercentre Concept, we’re continuing to position ourselves as a leader in store design and retail innovation,” said Lee Tappenden, President and CEO of Walmart Canada. “We’re introducing new partners, testing new and innovative technologies, integrating e-commerce with brick-and-mortar, and updating our assortment to improve the customer shopping experience and to appeal more to young families in urban markets.”

WALMART’S URBAN SUPERCENTRE CONCEPT IN TORONTO

According to the retailer’s press release, the Toronto-Stockyards location was chosen by the retailer to offer new ‘Fast Lane’ checkout technology and to fully integrate the My Walmart app to allow customers to scan their own products. Store associates – including new full- and part-time associates – will also work alongside state-of-the-art technology to help make shopping as easy and convenient as possible for customers. In Thornhill, a second Supercentre Concept will launch and best practices will be used in future store renovations next year. “Our new concept is a symbol of what’s to come in retail and demonstrates our vision for helping Canadians save money and live better, now and in the future,” stated Tappenden.

These new Urban Supercentre Concepts include:

  • The grocery section has been renamed Fresh Market and has been redesigned to include more theater lighting and wood panel wall treatment. The store will also offer top quality fruits and vegetables, including organics, and 100% Canadian beef, chicken, pork, and seafood;
  • New prototype introduces “Fast Lane”, which allows customers to use the My Walmart app on their mobile device to shop and check out quickly and seamlessly;
  • New licensee strategy reflects emerging trends and evolving customer needs, adding new partners like Freshii, MINISO, The UPS Store, and The Party Shop;
  • New associate positions have been added to focus on customer service, including online grocery and general merchandise pickup.

The retailer announced last month an investment of $200 million in its store network with a focus on refurbishing and refreshing 31 stores. Walmart has invested over $1 billion in its Canadian store network in the last five years.

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