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Walmart Details Renovation Plans in Key States

Texas and Florida once again leading sites for tech-focused renovation
Photograph by WGB Staff

In a series of releases this week, Walmart detailed capital spending plans for a handful of U.S. states, highlighting a heavy emphasis on store remodels and new technology to enhance the shopping experience and efficiency.

Walmart has been reeling back new store growth in recent years, in part to devote resources to building e-commerce and generating more out of its existing stores.

The company said it intends to spend $11 billion worldwide in the fiscal year ending next Jan. 31, up from $10.3 billion in its previous year, while building fewer than 10 new U.S. stores. That pressures the company to get more from its existing units, which it intends to do through renovations that will expand availability of grocery pickup to 1,000 U.S. stores and delivery to another 800 stores.

Walmart also this week revealed plans to roll out new technologies in stores, including the FAST Unloader to increase stocking efficiency (1,200 stores) and automated Pickup Towers that allow shoppers to retrieve online general merchandise orders (900 stores). The retailer is also deploying 1,200 robots to scrub floors and another 300 that will scan shelves for inventory and pricing accuracy. These innovations will free up employees to provide better service in stores, Walmart said.

Walmart 2019 Capex By State

walmart chart

Source: Walmart

Of last year’s capital budget, slightly more than half ($5.2 billion) went to e-commerce, technology and supply chain initiatives. About three-quarters ($7.7 billion) was spent in the United States. Walmart’s net store count increased by eight units last year with 4,769 stores operating as of Jan. 31.

Of the states highlighted in releases this week, Walmart is devoting the most money to Texas ($265 million), Florida ($173 million), California ($145 million), Indiana ($96 million), Pennsylvania ($83 million) and Arizona ($72 million).

In Texas, Walmart will remodel 54 of its 595 stores, add grocery pickup to more than 74 units and add delivery to 84 locations. The Lone Star state, along with Florida, will also see a rollout of shelf-scanning robots. Florida will see the addition of one new store—a Neighborhood Market site in Miami—along with 34 remodels. In California, Walmart has plans to remodel 21 stores and build a new Supercenter in Tehachapi.

Walmart also invested heavily in Texas and Florida last year, spending nearly $500 million in those two states alone.

 

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