No matter what store you visit, walking into any Walmart location should feel familiar. America's largest retail chain has stores in all 50 states, but each one is about to look a little bit different. That's because the company is rolling out several new changes as we glide from summer into fall.
In the days ahead, here are seven of the changes you'll see at your neighborhood store. And for information on what to buy while you're there, don't forget to check out The Best Frozen Foods at Walmart in 2021.
Stores won't be open on Thanksgiving.
Walmart announced back in June that its stores would be closed on Turkey Day for the second year in a row.
"Throughout the pandemic, Walmart has continued to place a heavy emphasis on the well-being of its associates," the company wrote online. "Closing its stores on Thanksgiving Day is an additional way the retailer is thanking associates for their dedication to serving customers and their perseverance throughout the pandemic."
Customers can shop for last-minute fixings on Wednesday, Nov. 24, though no information is available yet about Black Friday on Nov. 26.
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Walmart has suspended delivery and pickup in one area.
One day before Hurricane Ida made landfall, mobile pickup and delivery services were suspended at impacted Walmart stores in Mississippi's six southern counties. Of 10 locations in the southern part of the state, only three stores are currently allowing customers to access mobile delivery. The retailer confirmed to Eat This, Not That! that the services are scheduled to resume on Sept. 18.
It is adding driverless cars to available delivery options.
Walmart has already tested grocery deliveries by driverless trucks, drones, and robots. Now, it's trying out another new delivery option in partnership with Ford. Customers in Austin, Miami, and Washington could get their groceries and other items dropped off to them in a Ford car equipped with Argo AI's self-driving software, according to the New York Times.
The pilot program is launching later this year—and if everything goes well, it may expand.
The Walmart app is changing.
Though Walmart is a convenient place to buy nearly everything on your shopping list, customers previously had to use two different apps for digital transactions—an orange one for grocery purchases and a blue one for other kinds of purchases. The company is rolling out a new app with universal search and checkout, meaning you can shop for both bananas and Bananagrams all in one place.
It's offering grocery deliveries in certain New York City boroughs.
Some residents of Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens can now have groceries from Walmart delivered to them via Instacart, according to The Wall Street Journal. While there are almost 100 Walmart stores in New York, none are located in the Big Apple. The closest location in the Empire State is located in South Valley Stream, east of the John F. Kennedy International Airport.
New restaurants are opening up inside of Walmart locations.
Hungry while shopping? America's second-biggest burger chain is one of the new restaurants that has officially opened up for business inside of Walmart. Customers at one Ohio location can already sip on a Frosty from Wendy's Hamburger Stand as they shop for groceries. Three brand-new items on the limited menu are the Jalapeño Popper Chicken Nuggets, Strawberry Frosty, and Frosty Sundae.
If you're craving something different, another chain that is opening up inside of Walmart stores has a much bigger menu. Ghost Kitchen Brands sells foods by chains like Quiznos and Saladworks, as well as packaged products like Red Bull and Kraft Mac & Cheese.
More than 2,000 stores will soon get T-Mobile retail stores inside.
As if Walmart already wasn't a one-stop shop! T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile retail stores are being added to nearly 2,300 Walmart locations. Customers can shop for new smartphones and mobile plans as they pick out their groceries starting Oct. 18.
"T-Mobile is a top wireless provider and one that we know our customers are going to be excited to shop in our stores and on Walmart.com," Mehrdad Akbar, vice president of wireless services for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. "We are thrilled to add T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile to our assortment and feel that it's yet another way we are delivering the best products and services to our customers to help them save money and live better."
What else is happening at your neighborhood Walmart? Check out: