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Walmart Is Making These 5 Major Changes Right Now

Whether you shop in-store or online, things will change this year at America's largest retailer.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

There are over 5,000 Walmart stores in all 50 states in the U.S., and while each one is unique, the company is making some changes that will affect every customer that walks by the greeter at the door. However, there are also updates being made to those who browse the aisles at home.

Last year saw the disappearance of some services, items, and updates to the pharmacy, healthcare options, and more areas of Walmart. But be prepared to see some of these differences at your local store starting right now and continuing later into 2022. Keep reading to see the major changes happening at Walmart, and next, don't miss 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year.

1

Walmart is adding new products.

Einstein Walmart
Courtesy of Einstein Bros Bagels

Although Walmart is full of more than just grocery items, it's continuing to try and make itself a destination for anything shoppers want by adding new foods.

For bagel lovers who want the taste of a bagel shop bagel at home, Walmart just partnered with Einstein Bros. to bring the Plain, Everything, Cinnamon Raisin, and Asiago flavors to the frozen section.

In the freezer aisle, you'll also spot a new Super Bowl (or any game day) find, too—plant-based LikeMeat's Like Chick'n Wings–as well as new Little Debbie-inspired Ice Creams.

2

It's changing store layouts to be more interactive.

Shutterstock

Walmart already knows it's a top destination for Americans to find all kinds of foods, home goods, electronics, and more products, but the company also wants to be a place where shoppers spend more time. This means they plan to add new elements like activated corners with displays, room setups, and sample products, as well as QR codes that lead to more options in the store, and brand shops that highlight local and national companies.

With all of these new features, Walmart says it's reimagining space within the store and has "purposefully created more space for our customers to explore and discover the breadth and depth of what our stores have to offer, and we've optimized assortment to elevate storytelling that draws customers in."

Right now, the new layout is in testing in the "incubator location" in Springdale, Ark. store (and is reportedly already wowing shoppers), but Alvis Washington, the Vice President of Marketing – Store Design, Innovation and Experience, says in a post on the website that based on what customers say, Walmart will quickly adjust in 2022.

3

The company is updating its produce section.

Walmart produce
Shutterstock

In addition to seeing more interactive displays and samples on the floor at your local Walmart soon, shoppers in one state are about to see new produce. In a partnership with Plenty, a San Francisco-based vertical farming company that grows greens indoors is bringing some of its indoor-grown greens to California stores year-round.

"We believe Plenty is a proven leader in a new era of agriculture, one that offers pesticide-free, peak-flavor produce to shoppers every day of the year," Charles Redfield, Walmart U.S. chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. "This partnership not only accelerates agricultural innovation, but reinforces our commitment to sustainability, by delivering a new category of fresh that is good for people and the planet."

4

Walmart is adding COVID-19 resources.

walmart vaccine sign
Tada Images/Shutterstock

Several other large-scale grocery store pharmacies are in on this, too, but Walmart is offering three N95 masks to each customer as part of a deal with the government. The free COVID-19 staple is becoming available now. And while it used to offer the BinaxNOW at-home rapid COVID tests for $14 (but has since raised the price to around $20), according to Walmart's site, they are not facing a shortage anymore.

This isn't your only option, though. The chain is now working with Quest Diagnostics to offer over 50 tests for a wide range of illnesses and health profiles (like Chickenpox, cholesterol, diabetes risk, and food allergy tests) available on walmartquestdirect.questdiagnostics.com. Some can be taken at home while others require a blood draw in-person at a Quest Patient Service Center.

5

It's now offering online service bookings, too.

Walmart Angi
Courtesy of Angi

For any customer that needs a helping hand in their home, Walmart is continuing to try and be the source for finding what you need. One way is by expanding their InHome Delivery system—which allows a highly trained associate to deliver groceries right into your kitchen.

Walmart is also partnering with Angi (previously known as Angie's List) to make the hiring of service professionals available right on Walmart.com. Prices start at $49 for furniture assembly and $79 for television mounting.

Here's what Angi says about how it works: "Services can be purchased online or in-store alongside any eligible item or from the Angi dedicated landing page at any time on Walmart.com. It's as easy as purchasing any other item at Walmart. Once the item is purchased, Angi will reach out to coordinate your booking and ensure the service is completed to delight the customer."

Larger projects like flooring will start with the shopper requesting a quote, and then a project advisor analyzing, finding a pro, and managing the transaction.

To prepare for your next shopping trip, read up on why Walmart employees hate when customers do this.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more