Walmart Canada says it will spend $110 million this year on store renovations and omnichannel technology.
The investment is part of a five-year, $3.5-billion plan to improve service in stores and on the web, renovate more than 130 stores and build two new distribution centres.
The retail giant says it will dedicate additional square footage in some of its stores to omnichannel fulfilment for both online delivery and pickup, allowing "associates to pick orders faster and ship them out more quickly." Other technology initiatives include the use of payment on mobile devices so that customers can pay for purchases anywhere in the store.
"In these busy and challenging times, we know customers want choice and convenience more than ever," said Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO, Walmart Canada, in a press release. "This is a very exciting time at Walmart Canada, as we invest in the business, accelerate our omnichannel efforts and make the shopping experience easy and simple for our customers."
A Walmart store in Vaughan, Ont. is serving as a testing ground for new technology. According to Walmart, this is one of 10 "hybrid concept store" in the works and includes:
- A 10,000-square-foot omnichannel, in-store fulfillment space that can fill "eight times the online orders of an average Walmart store."
- A large drive-up pickup area, where customers can park and have their order loaded into their vehicle.
- More efficient and modern technology to support associates.