Walmart’s fresh produce is now at the level of its competitors. This is the bold statement of the US retail giant’s CEO Doug McMillon, following the launch of the Produce 2.0 initiative. Speaking at an investor conference, McMillon said, “We match up (to our rivals), but I don’t want to have our team get comfortable. We have a really competitive quality offer and a great value in produce today.”
McMillon acknowledges that Walmart were behind its rivals in terms of its offerings of fresh food, but argues that thanks to its detailed work on product sourcing and handling to improve speed to shelf and increased hours on the shopfloor, the firm has greatly improved its in-store execution and presentations. These lessons are now being showcased in improved layouts at stores as part of the “Produce 2.0” initiative, a merchandising set expected to be introduced in about half of Walmart’s Supercenters by next summer.
Describing the feeling of entering into a store where these changes have been made, McMillon said,
“It looks like a fresh market. There’s a lot of colour. It’s in your face. It feels aggressive from a merchandising point of view. And I walked into my first one in the El Paso market months ago and didn’t realise I was walking into a Produce 2.0 store. But when I walked through the door, it hit me, ‘What has happened here in produce?’ And then I was able to process and figure out, ‘Oh, they put Produce 2.0 here.’ It’s got that kind of impact.”