Walmart Inc. is refreshing the produce department in its U.S. stores, Charles Redfield, executive vice-president, Walmart U.S. Food, said on Nov. 20. Enhancements will include an “open-market feel,” wider aisles and a dedicated organic section.
“We’re adding low-profile displays in our fresh departments,” Mr. Redfield said. “These new bins allow customers to see everything available in the department right when they walk into the store. We’re using colorful, abundantly filled displays to highlight freshness and the quality of our items — for example, large bins of ripe red tomatoes and sizeable displays of seasonal items like squash and pumpkins.”
The changes are expected to be in the majority of stores nationwide by next summer, Mr. Redfield said. Others will be renovated as part of store remodels.
“In addition to improving the shopping experience for customers, these changes make it easier for our associates to work in the department,” he said. “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.”
Walmart in recent years has added more organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables to improve the quality of its assortment.
“We deepened our relationships with farmers — and by taking days out of the supply chain, we’ve been able to provide fresh produce that lasts longer at home,” Mr. Redfield said. “But with all the work we’ve done to increase quality in our produce department, we saw an opportunity to change up our in-store look and feel to even further emphasize the quality of the food we sell.”
Fresh food contributed to market share gains at Walmart U.S. stores in the recent quarter, according to the company.
Net income attributable to Walmart in the third quarter ended Oct. 31 totaled $3,288 million, equal to $1.16 per share on the common stock, up 92% from $1,710 million, or 58c, in the year-ago period. Revenues advanced 2.5% to $127,991 million from $124,894 million. Walmart U.S. comparable sales increased 6.6% on a two-year stacked basis.