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Walmart unveils store construction plans for six states

Over $800 million in investments includes e-commerce expansion

Texas, Florida and California head the list of states where Walmart yesterday announced investments of more than $800 million in new stores and remodels this year.

Walmart said it plans to build new stores in Florida and California and remodel a total of 157 stores in those states plus Texas, Arizona, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The projects include the retailer’s discount store, Supercenter and Neighborhood Market formats.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also detailed expansion plans for online grocery delivery and pickup in the six states.

Walmart_grocery_personal_shopper.pngIn Florida, Walmart is building a new Neighborhood Market store in Miami and remodeling 34 stores across the state as part of a $173 million investment. About half of the projects are in central Florida. E-commerce expansion will include grocery delivery to 63 more stores and pickup to 72 more stores, as well as the deployment of Pickup Towers in 36 locations. Walmart currently has 386 stores in Florida.

“If you consider that almost every innovation being tested in the company right now is happening in our state, you can see why Florida is such an important area geographically for the business,” Elise Vasquez-Warner, vice president and regional general manager for Florida at Walmart, said in a statement. “We’re certainly building off strong momentum from last year to serve our Florida customers in new and exciting ways and help our associates work smarter, easier and faster.”

The new California store will be in the city of Tehachapi, located southeast of Bakersfield. Walmart is investing $145 million in the nation’s most populous state for 2019, including the remodeling of 21 stores, launch of grocery delivery at 68 stores and addition of grocery pickup at 69 stores. Twenty-seven stores also will get Pickup Towers. California is home to 303 Walmart stores.

Walmart announced its biggest investment yesterday for Texas, with $264.9 million earmarked for store remodels, e-commerce expansion and other in-store improvements. Overall, plans call for 54 stores to be remodeled this year in the state, where the retailer now operates 596 stores. Online grocery additions include delivery for 84 more stores and pickup for 74 more stores. A large rollout of Pickup Towers also is slated, with 82 stores adding the automated online order pickup units.

In Pennsylvania, Walmart’s planned $83 million investment includes 15 store remodels and the launch of grocery delivery at 34 stores, grocery pickup at 43 locations and Pickup Towers at 27 stores.

Walmart_Grocery_Pickup_sign.png“The exciting recent innovations we’ve seen in Pennsylvania include online grocery pickup and grocery delivery at more than 50 stores statewide, providing a number of easy ways for customers to shop for essential items online while never having to leave their vehicles,” said Ann-Louise Almeida, regional manager for Walmart in Pennsylvania, where the retailer has 161 stores. “Additionally, more than 30 Pickup Towers across Pennsylvania and customer-friendly services such as Check Out with Me have made it easier than ever for shoppers to save not only money but valuable time as well.”

Arizona is getting a $71.8 million investment from Walmart that includes 14 remodels out of the retailer’s 127 locations in the state. On the e-commerce side, 20 stores are slated to launch grocery delivery, while grocery pickup is being added to 34 locations and Pickup Towers to 15 stores.

Walmart announced a $96.1 million investment for Indiana, where this year it plans 19 store remodels along with the rollout of grocery delivery to 36 additional stores, grocery pickup to over 40 more stores and Pickup Towers to 22 more locations. The company currently operates 128 stores in the state.

“Hoosier customers have taken quickly to online grocery pickup and to our Walmart Pickup Towers as these developments have begun to roll out across the state,” said Rodney Walker, Walmart’s regional vice president of operations in Indiana. “Walmart is committed to convenience, and we look forward to expanding these technologies and more in 2019.”

Walmart said investments in the six states also include in-store improvements that are part of a national rollout of 1,200 robotic floor scrubbers, 300 shelf-scanning robots and 1,200 automated FAST unloaders.

Earlier this year, Walmart said it planned to open less than 10 new stores and remodel about 500 under projected fiscal 2020 capital expenditures of $11 billion. During fiscal 2019, Walmart expanded online grocery delivery to about 800 locations and pickup to more than 2,100 locations in the U.S. The retailer expects to have 1,600 delivery and 3,100 pickup locations by the end of fiscal 2020.

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