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9 Major Changes You'll See at Walmart This Year

From tech upgrades to expanded delivery options, there's a lot coming out of Walmart in 2024.

Walmart is widely regarded for its one-stop shopping experience, offering customers just about anything they could need, whether it's a new television, a blender, or a week's worth of groceries. As the big-box retailer continues to expand its store footprint and update its product selection, it's also implementing multiple changes.

Over the past few months, Walmart has announced several notable upgrades that shoppers have seen or will see in the near future. Some of these include exciting additions like technological innovations and expanded delivery services. However, among the many changes hitting stores are also some closures.

Planning to swing by the retail giant soon? Here are nine major changes you will see at Walmart this year.

New digital shelf labels

walmart digital shelf labels for dove deodorants

After testing digital shelf labels (DSLs) at a store in Grapevine, Texas, Walmart recently announced that it will expand the rollout of this technology to 2,300 stores by 2026. This change will remove the need for employees to manually change paper tags and instead allow them to update prices with a mobile app, ultimately boosting efficiency. According to USA Today, the digital shelf labels are currently in 63 Walmart stores, with 32 in Texas.

According to Daniela Boscan, a food and consumable team lead in Hurst, Texas, this price tag switch has increased productivity and decreased employee walking time. For context, Boscan noted in a press release that the new technology takes just minutes of an employee's time, while the previous price tag system took two days.

Additionally, the technology's "Stock to Light" feature allows associates to flash an LED light on a shelf tag with their mobile device to spotlight locations that need employee attention. This helps simplify stock replenishment. There's also a "Pick to Light" feature that takes associates to the products needed for online orders, which speeds up order picking and boosts order accuracy.

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Expanded In-Home delivery

walmart associate stocking customer's fridge through inhome delivery service

Walmart takes delivery one step further by having employees bring orders directly inside customers' homes through its InHome delivery service. Now, even more shoppers can choose this delivery option because the retailer has expanded the service to several additional locations, including Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, and San Bernardino, Calif. InHome delivery is now available to over 45 million households across more than 50 markets.

Customers shopping on the Walmart website or app can select their preferred InHome delivery time window, which is when a highly trained InHome associate will complete the delivery. If the customer would like their order delivered inside of their home, the associate will unlock the customer's garage or door using a one-time access code. These associates wear cameras on their vests, which record the entire delivery. Customers can watch this for up to one week after each delivery.

InHome delivery is available as an add-on to the Walmart+ membership, which costs $12.95 per month or $98 per year. Existing Walmart+ members can add unlimited fee-free and tip-free InHome delivery for an additional $7 per month or $40 per year.

Expanded drone delivery

walmart drone delivery app screenshots

In 2021, Walmart began testing drone delivery in just three northwest Arkansas locations. Since then, the retailer has offered this service in multiple markets and carried out more than 30,000 drone deliveries.

In January, Walmart announced that it will offer drone delivery to up to 75% of the Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) population. The company first rolled out the service in this market through Wing, a drone delivery provider, in August 2023.

While customers previously opted for this delivery option within the Wing app, Walmart recently shared that customers in the DFW area will be alerted about this capability through the Walmart app. The retailer said it will integrate the delivery option "in phases as more drone delivery sites launch and drone providers receive additional regulatory approvals to fly more goods across greater distances."

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AI personal shopping assistant

screenshot of a customer's conversation with walmart's shopping assistant

Need some shopping inspiration? Walmart's new shopping assistant is here to help. But it's not an actual human.

At the beginning of June, the retail giant announced that it's beta-testing a GenAI-powered shopping assistant, which is designed to help shoppers with their purchasing decisions. The tool will appear "organically" for select customers across the nation in the Walmart mobile app and be available for multiple categories, such as home products and electronics.

As noted by the company, customers can ask the shopping assistant questions with "natural phrases" like "Which TV is best for watching soccer?" Going forward, the tool will evolve to include more advanced features and capabilities like answering specific follow-up questions. Walmart plans to offer this shopping assistant on both the Walmart app and website in the future.

A new line of trendy, low-cost groceries

bettergoods product assortment

At the end of April, Walmart expanded its private-label offerings with the launch of a new brand: Bettergoods. This product line includes 300 items that range in price from $2 to $15. Most products cost less than $5. This new selection is designed to offer unique, chef-inspired ingredients at a low price. The products are grouped into three categories: Culinary Experiences, Plant-Based, and Made Without.

Products that fall within the Culinary Experiences category include ingredients and "food trend-forward offerings," such as specialty salts and seasonings. Plant-Based items include products like non-dairy frozen desserts and cheese alternatives, while Made Without items are geared toward individuals with specific dietary preferences.

The rollout of Bettergoods was Walmart's largest private-brand food launch in 20 years. It was also the fastest food brand the retailer has brought to market.

 The Best New Grocery Products of 2024

Store closures

walmart exterior
Tupungato / Shutterstock

Walmart made headlines throughout 2023 after shuttering 22 stores. This year, the retailer is continuing to say goodbye to more locations.

Business Insider reported that Walmart has announced 11 closures since 2024 began. These are spread across six states, which include California, Colorado, Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Georgia. The closures were attributed to financial underperformance.

Nine Walmart locations have already closed, while the retailer will shutter two additional stores in Georgia—one in Dunwoody and another in Marietta—on July 12. A Walmart spokesperson told WANF-TV that these stores failed to meet financial expectations.

Walmart Health closures

walmart health center storefront
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

After launching its health centers in 2019, Walmart decided to remove these services after five years. At the end of April, the company announced in a press release that it will shut down all 51 Walmart Health clinics in addition to its telehealth services, writing, "there is not a sustainable business model for us to continue." The company noted the "challenging reimbursement environment and escalating operating costs" as factors preventing its health services from being profitable.

Going forward, Walmart customers will still have access to the retailer's pharmacies and vision centers. Announcing the closures was an abrupt shift for Walmart, as the retailer announced that it would be opening 75 new Walmart Health Centers just one month before.

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New on-demand early morning delivery services

customer receiving walmart delivery order of multiple bags and products

As more retailers strive to offer increased convenience, Walmart expanded its delivery options to include its new Express On-Demand Early Morning Delivery. Introduced in March, this service lets customers receive deliveries as early as 6 a.m. After placing their order, shoppers can receive it in as little as 30 minutes.

A Walmart spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch that customers can pay $10 for immediate delivery or $5 to have their purchase delivered within three hours. Meanwhile, Walmart+ members can select this service for free.

Removing self-checkout at specific locations

walmart self-checkout lane

In April, Walmart confirmed to Business Insider that it will remove self-checkout from two stores—one in Shrewsbury, Mo., and another in Cleveland, Ohio. Brian Little, a company spokesperson, told the news outlet that the company made this decision based on employee and customer feedback in addition to local shopping patterns.

A few weeks earlier, the retailer limited self-checkout lanes to Spark delivery drivers and Walmart+ subscribers at several locations. Joe Pennington, a Walmart spokesperson, told Business Insider that this change isn't being rolled out across all stores, noting that store managers can experiment and decide what's best for their location.

"Based on several factors including customer and associate feedback, shopping patterns, and business needs, some locations are temporarily testing different checkout staffing options," Pennington said.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna