2018 saw Walmart — which has 127 retail units throughout Arizona — roll out and expand several in-store and online innovations for shoppers as well as increase support for its more than 34,000 Arizona associates through increased training, new handheld apps, robotics and other technology designed to make their daily tasks easier.
Customer-focused innovations launched or expanded in Arizona stores include grocery pickup and grocery delivery, which gives customers the convenience of shopping online and the ease of quickly picking up groceries without having to leave their cars, and a store map app uniquely created for each Walmart store in Arizona that can be opened in the store or at home, not only showing the item’s exact location but working with new in-store signing that helps customers quickly orient themselves within the store. Another of the innovations is Walmart pickup towers, which are 16 feet tall and function like high-tech vending machines, capable of fulfilling a customer’s online order in less than a minute. Customers can choose from millions of items available on walmart.com and select the “pickup” option at checkout. When the item arrives at a customer’s local store, an associate loads it into the pickup tower where the customer can retrieve it by scanning the barcode sent to her smartphone. Currently, 15 stores across Arizona are equipped with a pickup tower, with additional expansion planned for 2019.
“Arizona plays an important role as we innovate our business to better serve our customers. When Walmart introduces new technology to help our customers save time and money, such as pickup towers as well as online grocery pickup and delivery, Arizona is one of the first states to receive these innovations,” says Tiffany Wilson, director of communications, noting Walmart spent an estimated $52 million in Arizona last year in remodeling 15 stores and rolling out the innovations. “In fact, in February, Walmart started a new delivery pilot in Surprise, Arizona, with autonomous vehicle company Udelv.”