Walmart expanding grocery pickup

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Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday that it was launching its click-and-collect grocery shopping option in eight new markets, and expanding its availability in several places where it is already available.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said free pickup will launch this month in Kansas City, Mo.; Boise, Idaho; Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va.; Austin, Texas; Provo, Utah; Daphne, Ala.; and Charleston, S.C. Service is expanding in Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, where the retailer is doubling the number of stores where the service is available, according to Michael Bender, EVP and COO, Walmart Global e-commerce.

Walmart currently has online shopping available in 23 markets.

“Customers tell us they’re excited about online grocery because they’re putting the time they’re saving back into meaningful parts of their lives (like spending time helping their kids with homework or having a date-night with their spouse),” Bender said in a blog post. “They have the option of shopping whenever and wherever they want – adding to ongoing lists all week, or placing a quick order through our mobile app – putting them in control of the entire process, all the way down to when they pick up. Even better is that our grocery pickup service is 100% free to use. We offer the same everyday low prices found in our stores, and there are no hidden fees.”

Bender said that 90% of Walmart’s Grocery Pickup shoppers are repeat users, and more than 90% of online orders include fresh grocery items like dairy, produce or meat.

“That’s exciting because it means that our personal shoppers – associates who are carefully selected and highly trained to pick these foods as if they were choosing for their own families – must be working hard to get things right while strengthening the trust customers place in us to shop for them.”

Supermarkets Top Alternative Formats (Part 1)

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Now more than ever, alternative formats like mass merchandisers, natural food retailers, dollar stores and even drugstores are encroaching on supermarket food sales. The following companies from the 2016 Top 75 list of U.S. and Canadian retailers represent the alternative formats with the most food sales.

1Walmart

1. Wal-Mart Stores

Annual sales: $247.5 billion (estimated, consumables only)

2costco

2. Costco Wholesale Corp.

Annual sales: $69.4 billion (consumables only)

3CVS.jpg

3. CVS Health

Annual sales: $44.4 billion (estimated, consumables only)

4Target.jpg

4. Target Corp.

Annual sales: $34.2 billion (estimated, consumables only)

5Walgreens.jpg

5. Walgreen Co.

Annual sales: $28.3 billion (estimated, consumables only)

6Meijer_0.jpg

6. Meijer, Inc.

Annual sales: $16.9 billion (estimated)

7WholeFoods.jpg

7. Whole Foods Market

Annual sales: $15.4 billion

8DollarGeneral.jpg

8. Dollar General Corp.

Annual sales: $15.3 billion (estimated, consumables only)

9_7Eleven.jpg

9. 7-Eleven

Annual sales: $13.3 billion (estimated, consumables only)

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10. Trader Joe’s Co.

Annual sales: $13 billion (estimated)

Walmart to open milk processing plant in Indiana.

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Walmart announced it would build a milk processing plant in Fort Wayne, Ind., that will enter operation in summer 2017.

The more than 250,000-square-foot facility will produce Great Value and Member’s Mark white and chocolate milk for more than 600 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

“By operating our own plant and working directly with the dairy supply chain in the Midwest, we’ll further reduce operating costs and pass those savings on to our customers so that they can save money,” Tony Airoso, SVP of sourcing strategy for Walmart U.S., said in a press release. “This facility is an example of how we are always finding efficiencies within the supply chain to deliver everyday low prices and high quality groceries.”

The retailer said the plant would create more than 200 jobs.

Walmart supports omnichannel commerce with product content.

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Seamlessly selling products through Walmart just got a little easier.

Using the ContentSpec 2.0 interface from product content management platform provider Salsify, Walmart suppliers can now publish product content directly to Walmart’s systems. Rather than utilizing a spreadsheet-based process which could take weeks, Walmart suppliers can transmit digital content in as little as minutes.

This content can include digital photos, product descriptions and other information that not only helps Walmart better track products but can also assist shoppers in making purchase decisions. Digital product content can be served to customers online, via mobile devices and also in stores. The ease of digitally updating the content helps ensure it is accurate and timely as possible.

“Digital product content impacts not only online commerce but also the mobile and in-store experience, so providing consumers with clear and compelling product information is important for the entire buyer’s journey,” said Rob Gonzalez, co-founder and VP of business development at Salsify. “We worked closely with Walmart to beta test the API and are now one of the first companies to publish our customer’s content directly to Walmart, getting their best content to Walmart in minutes instead of weeks.”

Co-developing this new product content management capability is part of Walmart’s larger $1 billion e-commerce effort for 2016. Having easily accessible, accurate product information available on both the back and front end is an important supporting factor in successful seamless commerce.

Walmart to close 269 stores including all ‘Express’ sites.

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Wal-Mart Stores on Friday said it would close 269 stores — 154 of them in the U.S. including all of its 102 Walmart Express small-format stores.

The decision to close the stores follows a review of the retailer’s portfolio initiated in October to ensure its stores were aligned with its strategy, Walmart said. In total, the impacted stores represent less than 1% of Walmart’s 11,600 stores worldwide. The closures are expected to impact 16,000 employees, including 10,000 in the U.S.

“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, said in a statement. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future. It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year. So we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it.”

As previously reported in SN, Walmart a year ago dialed back plans to expand through the Express format, which was launched in a test phase in 2011, folding the 12,000- to 16,000-square-foot stores into its food-and-drug Neighborhood Market division. The company at one time envisioned the concept to potentially number in the thousands and serve as a defense against fast-growing small discounters like Dollar General. Express stores were largely concentrated in the Carolinas and in Texas.

Walmart said it would instead focus on strengthening Supercenters, optimizing Neighborhood Markets, growing its e-commerce business and expanding pickup services. The U.S. closures also include 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers, and four Sam’s Clubs. Walmart said it would publish a list of the intended store closures shortly.

More than 95% of the closing stores in the U.S. are within 10 miles on average of another Walmart, “and the hope is that these associates will be placed in nearby locations,” Walmart said. “Where that isn’t possible, the company will provide 60 days of pay and, if eligible, severance, as well as resume and interview skills training. Whether with Walmart or elsewhere, the company’s objective is to help all associates find their next job opportunity.”

Domestically, Walmart intends to open 50 to 60 Supercenters and 85 to 95 Neighborhood Markets in fiscal 2017, which begins Feb. 1. In the same period, Sam’s Club plans to open between seven and 10 new locations.

Internationally, Walmart intends to open between 200 and 240 stores during the coming year. The closures announced Friday also include 115 stores outside the U.S. — 60 money-losing sites in Brazil and 55 in other Latin American markets.

Walmart estimated the closures would result in a financial hit of 20 cents to 22 cents per share, with most of it to be recognized in its current fourth quarter. Approximately 75% of the impact relates to U.S. closings and the remaining portion involves Walmart International, with a large majority of that relating to closures in Brazil. Walmart will report its fiscal 2016 fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 18.

2016 Top 75 U.S. & Canadian Food Retailers & Wholesalers.

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    1. Wal-Mart Stores Company News
    2. Kroger Company News
    3. Costco Wholesale Corp. 2016
    4. Albertsons 2016
    5. CVS Health 2016
    6. Target Corp. 2016
    7. Loblaw Cos. 2016
    8. Walgreen Co. 2016
    9. Publix Company News
    10. C&S Wholesale Grocers 2016
    11. Ahold USA Company News
    12. H-E-B 2016
    13. Supervalu Company News
    14. Delhaize America Company News
    15. Meijer Inc. 2016
    16. Sobeys 2016
    17. Wakefern Food Corp. 2016
    18. Whole Foods Market 2016
    19. Dollar General Corp. 2016
    20. 7-Eleven 2016
    21. Trader Joe’s Co. 2016
    22. Aldi USA 2016
    23. Southeastern Grocers 2016
    24. Dollar Tree 2016
    25. Giant Eagle 2016
    26. BJ’s Wholesale Club 2016
    27. Hy-Vee Food Stores 2016
    28. Metro Inc. 2016
    29. Associated Wholesale Grocers 2016
    30. Rite Aid 2016
    31. SpartanNash 2016
    32. United Natural Foods Inc. 2016
    33. Wegmans Food Markets 2016
    34. WinCo Foods 2016
    35. Demoulas Super Markets 2016
    36. Save Mart Supermarkets 2016
    37. Stater Bros. Markets 2016
    38. Unified Grocers 2016
    39. Overwaitea Food Group 2016
    40. Smart & Final 2016
    41. Ingles Markets 2016
    42. Price Chopper Supermarkets 2016
    43. Sprouts Farmers Market 2016
    44. Houchens Industries 2016
    45. Raley’s Supermarkets 2016
    46. Weis Markets 2016
    47. Tops Markets 2016
    48. Schnuck Markets 2016
    49. Key Food Stores Co-operative 2016
    50. Alex Lee Inc. 2016
    51. K-VA-T Food Stores 2016
    52. Bozzuto’s 2016
    53. Amazon.com 2016
    54. Associated Food Stores 2016
    55. Brookshire Grocery Co. 2016
    56. Central Grocers 2016
    57. The Fresh Market 2016
    58. Saker ShopRites 2016
    59. Grocery Outlet 2016
    60. Superior Grocers 2016
    61. Woodman’s Markets 2016
    62. Affiliated Foods Midwest 2016
    63. Big Y Foods 2016
    64. 99 Cents Only 2016
    65. Village Super Market 2016
    66. Affiliated Foods 2016
    67. Bashas’ 2016
    68. Bodega Latina 2016
    69. Coborn’s 2016
    70. Piggly Wiggly Midwest 2016
    71. Brookshire Brothers 2016
    72. Fareway Stores 2016
    73. Inserra Supermarkets 2016
    74. Lowe’s Market 2016
    75. Northgate Gonzalez Market 2016

Top 25 Global Food Retailers 2015.

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    1. Wal-Mart Stores 2015 — Global edition
    2. Costco 2015 — Global edition
    3. Carrefour 2015
    4. Kroger Co. 2015 — Global edition
    5. Tesco 2015
    6. Seven & I 2015
    7. Schwarz Group 2015 (Lidl)
    8. Walgreens Boots Alliance 2015
    9. AEON 2015
    10. Aldi 2015 — Global edition
    11. Target Corp. 2015 — Global edition
    12. Auchan 2015
    13. Metro Group 2015
    14. CVS 2015
    15. Casino Group 2015
    16. Woolworths 2015
    17. Rewe Group 2015
    18. Edeka 2015
    19. Albertsons 2015 — Global edition
    20. Leclerc 2015
    21. Coles Group 2015
    22. Ahold 2015 — Global edition
    23. ITM (Intermarché) 2015
    24. Sainsbury’s 2015
    25. Loblaw 2015 — Global edition

Introducing Walmart Today, by Walmart TV.

Intern Diversity Event - July 24, 2014

Wal-Mart Stores has launched a new bimonthly video series designed to keep employees informed of happenings at the company.

Designed as a newscast, Walmart spokespersons Alex Peoples and Molly Blakeman host the show. The debut show posted this week highlights the company’s new Walmart Pay app, recaps its success with the Patti LaBelle pie, and shows a store manager navigating a Black Friday shopping crowd through use of a Go Pro camera.

Sam’s Club supports Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

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Sam’s Club and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are investing in an innovative program to help spawn the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Thirteen chambers of commerce across the U.S. received $5,000 each in startup funds to launch the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) in new communities. The donation — $2,500 from Sam’s Club, matched by $2,500 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) — helps students ages 11 to 18 to go through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year.

“Sam’s Club has helped small businesses start up and succeed since we opened 32 years ago. We are thrilled to help the Young Entrepreneurs Academy deliver entrepreneurial education to young people in the communities we serve,” said Rosalind Brewer, CEO and president of Sam’s Club.

YEA! is an innovative after-school educational program that works to transform middle and high school students into confident entrepreneurs. By the end of the 30-week class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program.

Sam’s Club, USCCF and YEA! joined forces earlier this year to fuel growth and support for youth entrepreneurship and the future of small business in more than 100 U.S. communities. As a result of the collaboration, 13 new YEA! chapters will launch this year with the support of local Chambers of Commerce and the business community.

Funding provides the opportunity to launch an estimated 300 new student-run businesses and provide hands on, experiential learning for students in the YEA! program, spearheaded by the following funding recipients:

• Athens Chamber of Commerce, Athens, Texas
• Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, Alexander City, Alabama
• Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, Loxahachee, Florida
• Hannibal Chamber of Commerce, Hannibal, Missouri
• Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, Lakeland, Florida
• Montrose Chamber of Commerce, Montrose, Colorado
• National Association of Women Business Owners Detroit & Detroit Chamber of Commerce, Detroit, Michigan
• Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, Paso Robles, California
• Richland Area Chamber of Commerce, Mansfield, Ohio
• Templeton Chamber of Commerce, Templeton, California
• Union County Economic Development Partnership, Marysville, Ohio
• Harford County Chamber of Commerce, Bel Air, Maryland
• Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, Santa Rosa, Florida

“The U.S. Chamber Foundation is delighted to team up with YEA! and Sam’s Club, and we look forward to together inspiring young people through the spirit of the free enterprise system,” said Carolyn Cawley, managing director, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “By offering support for these educational programs, we hope to emphasize what a powerful tool entrepreneurship can be.”

YEA! was developed in 2004 at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, with support from the Kauffman Foundation. YEA! now receives national support from the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Sam’s Club, to help promote the spirit of enterprise and build the next generation of business leaders in communities all across the country.

Walmart launches Walmart Pay.

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Shoppers at Walmart stores will soon be able to pay with their smartphones as the retailer has developed a unique solution to become the newest entrant in the crowded world of mobile wallets.

Branded as Walmart Pay, the service is a uniquely Walmart solution to the rapidly evolving world of mobile payments that is likely to increase downloads and utilization of the retailer’s mobile app. By adding payment functionality to its app, Walmart said it is the only retailer to offer its own payment solution that works with any iOS or Android device at any checkout lane, and with any major credit, debit, pre-paid or Walmart gift card.

“(Walmart Pay) is about how we can use payment to create a better shopping experience for our customers in our stores,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart US. “When we looked across all the solutions that were out there, many are limited to only certain types of phones or certain device operating systems or only to certain payment types.  In some instance all three of those constraints are placed upon a customer. We needed a solution that offered mobile payment access to as many of our customers as possible. The result was Walmart Pay.”

Roughly 140 million customers shop Walmart store each week and 22 million of them actively use the retailer’s app each month. With the addition of payment functionality the retailer is likely to see its app become even more relevant to shoppers for whom the mobile devices have become an indispensable part of daily life.

“The beauty of Walmart Pay is its simplicity. It makes the app even more valuable to our customers and helps us build a deep relationship with them. Soon, customers can leave home with only their keys and a smartphone to shop at their local Walmart,” Eckert said.
A nationwide rollout is due next year and according to Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, the timing couldn’t be better given the trends Walmart is seeing this holiday season.

“Millions of our customers used their smartphones to simplify the shopping experience,” Ashe said regarding Thanksgiving weekend shopping behaviors. “Nearly half of customers bought their online orders on a mobile device. That is double last year, and significantly higher than the industry average. And when they were in our stores they used the Walmart app at twice the rate as last holiday.”

Walmart’s decision to add payment functionality to its app is the latest development in the rapidly evolving mobile payments landscape where brands such as Apple, Samsung, Visa offer solutions and a retail consortium MXC has introduced an app called CurrentC. Acknowledging the crowded landscape, Eckert said Walmart Pay is designed in a way to work with other solutions and perhaps accelerate what to date has been a tepid pace of consumer adoption.

“We’ve even designed (Walmart Pay) to allow for the integration of other mobile wallets in the future as these capabilities mature in the marketplace,” Eckert said. “We believe Walmart pay will make the ease of mobile payment as reality for millions of Americans while improving the checkout experience for our customers.”

To see how the sign-up process works, click here. To see how the checkout process works, click here. And to listen to Ashe and Eckert discussing the launch of Walmart Pay, click here.