Walmart said Wednesday morning that it will roll out redesigned produce sections in the grocery areas of its U.S. stores, with an “open market feel,” low-profile bins, wide aisles, and a dedicated section for organic items, seeking to emphasize its fresh produce.
Why it matters: If you were to tone down the lighting and swap those bright colors with dark green, Walmart is starting to look like Amazon-owned Whole Foods. It’s the latest sign of escalating competition between Amazon and Walmart in the grocery business, through both in-store purchases and online ordering. In its latest move, Amazon is making grocery delivery a built-in feature of Prime subscriptions.
What’s at stake: Groceries represent an estimated $675 billion U.S. market that is increasingly going digital. Research firm eMarketer estimates that U.S. food and beverage ecommerce sales will grow 18.2 percent to nearly $20 billion this year, making it “the fastest-growing product category online.”
Of note: Walmart’s changes aren’t just cosmetic. “In addition to improving the shopping experience for customers, these changes make it easier for our associates to work in the department,” Walmart says. “Our new format simplifies workloads, making it easier for our associates to stock produce. This way, they can re-focus their time on serving customers.”