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Walmart supercentre revamp could shape future stores

Walmart says its revamp of a supercenter in Arkansas put put berries — a growing category — in the front of its Fresh department, while bananas, already a huge draw, are near the back to help lead customers through.

Walmart says it put a “new angle on fresh” as part of its recent facelift of a supercentre in Rogers, Arkansas.

Describing it as the first step toward the “supercenter of the future,” Walmart said the revamp put berries — a growing category — in the front of its Fresh department, while bananas, already a huge draw, are near the back to help lead customers through.

The retail giant said the revamp last year of supercentre #5260 included using purple signage in Fresh and throughout the store connects to an increase in organic products, along with improved sight lines and angled aisles.

In an article on the change, Walmart said other features of the refresh are:

  • Check Out Your Way: multiple options for checkout. Scan & Go supplies a wand so customers can scan items as they’re shopping. Hybrid registers can be self-service or manned by associates, depending on the need. And high-velocity checkouts — where a cashier scans items while the customer moves through the line to pay — are more than three times faster than conventional checkouts.

  • Pickup, Up Front: In-Store Pickup and Walmart Services share space up front at Store 5260. It’s clearly marked so customers can find it and get their orders quickly.

“Added into the refreshed look were several new approaches to technologies, services, products and layouts, which are currently being tested with customers.

“Early reports are positive, but it’s too soon to tell what’s working and what isn’t. What’s clear: Things that seem straightforward could show up in new stores or remodels. Store 5260 is simply the first step toward the supercenter of the future, but it’s critical to informing upcoming tests,” it said.

Source: http://blog.walmart.com/innovation/20160212/this-store-is-helping-reimagine-the-supercenter

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Walmart to open 15 supercentres across Canada this month

Walmart Canada will soon boast 400 stores, including 312 supercentres and 88 discount stores.

Walmart Canada will grand open 15 supercentres this month – representing an investment of more than $100 million – and completing its expansion plan for the company’s current fiscal year, ending January 31, 2016, according to a company media release.

In addition to the 29 supercentre projects announced on February 22, 2015, an additional 13 supercentres were announced on May 8, 2015, of which five will have their grand opening next week. These grand openings will bring Walmart Canada’s total store count to 400 stores, including 312 supercentres and 88 discount stores.

“We’re thrilled to open our 400th location in Canada this month, as well as our 300th supercentre,” said Preyash Thakrar, senior vice president, strategy and real estate. “These supercentres will provide even more Canadian communities with affordable access to quality fresh groceries and one-stop shopping, while also saving them money.”

Walmart serves more than 1.2 million customers each day. Its online store, walmart.ca, is visited by over 450,000 Canadians daily.

One-stop shopping

Walmart Supercentres offer up to 120,000 products, including a full complement of groceries –fresh produce, bakery goods, deli, meat and dairy products and organic selection as well as apparel, home decor and electronics. They also offer specialty services including pharmacies, garden centres and medical clinics.

“Walmart’s supercentres provide unparalleled access to a one-stop shopping experience,” added Thakrar. “Our supercentres deliver low prices everyday on the thousands of items Canadians want, especially quality, affordable fresh food for their families,” Thakrar said.

Additional company information can be found at: http://www.walmartcanada.ca

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Brands helping growth at Walmart China

Walmart China has launched the “100% Freshness guaranteed” campaign and is planning to open 100 more shops by 2016.

Walmart is so far the only international retail chain operating in China with its own nationwide logistics centre for perishables. “All the fruit and vegetable distribution today is centralised from our 11 platforms,” said Vincent Yeh, head of perishables procurement at Walmart China.

The depots are located at Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Chengdu, Kunming, Xiamen, Shengyang, Taiyuan and Hangzhou. Walmart China is today busy building an international supply chain to directly source most of its imported fruit.

So far in the first semester, about 20% of the imported fruit sold in the shops has been directly sourced by the Walmart department. This represents about 200 containers of overseas fruit (like apples, citrus, pears, grapes, cherries and blueberries) and 1,000 units of tropical fruit from South East Asia (mainly bananas, dragon fruit, durians and pineapples). Imported fruit today represents 45-50% of all the fruit sold by the shops. “We believe we can still have larger sales of imported fruit, since it is helping us to differentiate us as an international chain,” Yeh said.

Citrus and durian the most popular in 2015

Citrus is the largest imported category, taking up about 40% of the directly sourced volumes, followed by apples (25%) and pears (5%). Citrus procurement at Walmart has more than doubled since October 2014, when the US was again given access to Chinese markets. Durians became the fastest growing item in 2015 (all sourced from Thailand). “It is increasingly popular this year due to its health benefits: it is considered a warm or energetic fruit, recommended for women and babies,” Yeh said.

Due to the same health trends, lemons were the fastest growing imported fruit in 2014. It is very popular for its antioxidant properties and benefits for the skin. Avocados and blueberries keep increasing in popularity too, for similar health reasons. Spain has appeared on the market with lemons and oranges, able to supply over a long period, though South Africa is the top source for citrus, between May and September, followed by Egypt, Spain (with late oranges between February and June) and Australia (between May and September).

Produce brands helping to sell

“In future we hope to sell more branded items, even well-known European brands. This is our next step towards quality,” Yeh said.

So far among the most famous brands sold there is Dole, Zespri and Sunkist. “Last year we started with Pink Lady, Blue Whale and Oscar; Truval is also one of our growing brands.” Fuji apples remain by far the best-selling variety in China , representing 90% of the volumes. The remaining 10% are Galas and Red Delicious. Imported varieties represent 30% of the total sales of apples at Walmart, mainly with Gala, Red Delicious and a few varieties from New Zealand (Rose and Queen). The main sources are Chile, New Zealand, the US and France. Stone fruit and grapes are also a future growth category according to Vincent. So far, cherries represent more than 90% of the stone fruit imported, with plums second with just 5%. The potential demand is there for other products like apricots, peaches, nectarines and flat fruit.

PE