Through the fiscal year 2016, Walmart has a new strategy plan in place.
Instead of its traditional focus on large format stores and price rollbacks, the retail giant will be working hard to promote online sales while opening smaller brick and mortar stores.
The company is planning on adding 26 to 30 million square feet of retail space worldwide during this time, which is a reduction from the original projection of between 32 and 34 million square feet. Walmart plans to open nearly 240 of the new, smaller format stores by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, with another 20 of the smaller store openings carrying over into 2016. During this time, the company plans to spend between $11.6 billion and $12.9 billion carrying out the updated strategy, and these expenditures also represent a slight decrease from the company’s original projections.
A great deal of Walmart’s spending into the 2016 fiscal year will be focused on increasing its amount of e-commerce investments in a bid to compete more strongly with companies like Amazon. As the global marketplace continues to evolve and more and more consumers look to the convenience of online shopping, Walmart continues to seek out new, more relevant ways to serve its existing customers and to offer services that attract new customers. While the company continues to emphasize their core values of providing a wide array of goods, maintaining excellent customer service and keeping prices low, they want to be able to give their customers the choices they want in ways that are effective and convenient for today’s consumer.
One current area of focus for Walmart is their Neighborhood Market stores, formerly called Walmart Express stores. These shops are much smaller than traditional Walmart Supercenters and are designed for the customer who needs a quick trip to purchase a last-minute item, pick up a forgotten dinner ingredient, or fill a prescription. Walmart’s research has indicated that these smaller format Neighborhood Markets truly appeal to today’s busy customer, who often doesn’t have time to stock up on groceries all at once or to wait in a long supermarket line. The company plans to open between 200 and 220 Neighborhood Markets by the middle of the 2016 fiscal year as part of its new retail strategy.
Additionally, Walmart is also slowing its rate of growth for its Sam’s Club locations. Walmart will only open between nine and 12 Sam’s Club locations in the next fiscal year, opting to remodel between 50 and 60 of its existing clubs to more accurately reflect and cater to today’s consumer.