Leading retail chains are gradually ceasing to be mere retail outlets and are becoming places to discover.
The retail giant Walmart has announced a prototype of an "interactive store," which is currently under test in Springdale, Arkansas.
As part of the project, titled "Having a Good Time," there will be improvements to lighting and use of retail space, as well as QR codes and digital screens for new research opportunities.
We are committed to making our customers feel excited and proud when they shop with us, the company's press office explained. Despite today's multichannel world, shoppers still want to experience merchandise - touch, feel, and taste.
Walmart redesigned the point-of-sale system over the past few years, and the new test follows suit. In almost 1,000 Walmart stores, new navigation systems have appeared following much positive feedback from customers and experts.
The organization of space in the new "Time Well Spent" concept is somewhat similar to the updated Target format launched five years ago, which Target has successfully adapted.
A new Walmart in Springdale features, among other things, visualization and product testing displays, branded in-store corners, fully digital storefronts, and a code system that provides information about additional products and services.
Walmart posted a video of the store's corners, which feature such global brands as Gap, Reebok, and Philips. According to the company, initial tests of the new format showed that customers were "delighted with the redesign."
As Walmart and Target introduce new formats, other retailers, which do not have the same level of merchandising, may be put at risk. Stores of leading retail chains are increasingly becoming "discovery spaces" rather than mere retail outlets.