STORE SPACES

Walmart details capital investment plans for Texas, Florida, Ohio and other states

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart plans to spend invest more money in its stores in Texas this year than any other state.

The discounter detailed its spending plans for store openings and remodels along with in-store technology initiatives. The spend is part of Walmart’s total capital expenditures guidance of approximately $11.0 billion for its current fiscal year.

As previously announced, Walmart’s store spend this year is heavily weighed toward remodeling, with some 500 remodels and 20 openings planned. The retailer also plans to expand several in-store services, including adding more online grocery pickup locations, and more high-tech pickup towers.

Here is how the discounter’s plans shape up in several states:

• Texas: Walmart will invest $277 million in the Lone Star State to open four stores and remodel more than 40 locations, with many in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Texas is Walmart’s largest state, with 508 Walmart stores, 85 Sam’s Club stores and 19 distribution centers.

• Florida: Walmart will spend about $200 million during the next year through the opening and remodeling of 43 stores in Florida.

New stores are planned for Central Florida (one), Jacksonville (two) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale (three), with remodels in in Central Florida, the Panhandle, Tampa Bay, West Palm Beach, and other parts of the state. Walmart will open a new distribution center in the City of Cocoa later this year.

• California: Walmart is making a $145 million investment in its California stores. The money will be used to remodel 33 stores in the state, and open a new location in Fresno.

• Ohio: Walmart will spend $94 million on its Ohio footprint, with 27 remodels planned.

• New Jersey: Walmart is spending $68 million to extend its presence in the Garden State. It will open one new store, in Mount Laurel, and remodel 11 existing sites.

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Bedgear ‘pops up’ to help consumers sleep better

BY Marianne Wilson

A bedding brand that partners with the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks is opening its first freestanding location.

Bedgear will open a pop-up shop on Newbury Street in Boston, on April 13. The store, which will be open for three months, will allow shoppers to test drive the brand’s pillows, mattresses, sheets, blankets, and other products. It offer personalized fit assessments so that consumers can find the bedding products that best suit their sleep position, body frame – even the temperature at which they sleep best.

In addition, interactive kiosk screens will showcase the latest technology in sleep innovation, including the brand’s patented ventilation fabrics that are designed to increase air flow and shift heat away from the head, neck and shoulders. The breathable fabric technology, used in all Bedgear products, prevents overheating in bed, ensuring less tossing and turning for the most comfortable night’s rest, according to the company.

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Fred Segal gives new meaning to window shopping

BY Marianne Wilson

Window shopping has gone digital at Fred Segal’s store on the famed Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

Digital display window technology has been embedded into the storefront window of Fred Segal in conjunction with the store’s ‘Rock ‘n Roll Holy Land,’ an immersive exhibit on the history of Sunset Strip. The interactive shopping environment is the first in a series of activations that MasterCard will collaborate on with Fred Segal.

The digital storefront windows makes the store shoppable even when the physical space is closed. Through the window, shoppers can browse and interact with merchandise, place items in a cart, and make a purchase from their phone using a link that is pushed to them via text message. The items will be shipped to the address specified during checkout.

“For over 50 years Fred Segal has led the way in experiential retail and we are always looking for unexpected and unique elements that add to the shopping experience,” said John Frierson, president, Fred Segal. “Partnering with MasterCard allows us to bring our customers an exciting new way to shop that reflects today’s digital environment and takes it to the next level.”

In addition, MasterCard is working with Snapchat to offer unique experiences for MasterCard cardholders by connecting Snapcodes directly to retail moments.

MadeWorn, the LA-based brand specializing in handmade, American craftsmanship, is at the helm of conceiving the all-encompassing experience around the month-long Sunset Strip exhibit. It features exclusive merchandise from the brand and artists along with special appearances by performers throughout the event.

As part of the exhibit, the store is featuring a curated selection of products, including a variety of eccentric relics, photographs, and other treasures ranging from a complete 50-ft. tour bus to historic neon signs. An extensive collection of over 300 vintage and custom garments provided by MadeWorn is also featured.

“Fred Segal is a retailer known for offering its customers an innovative and differentiated shopping experience,” said Sherri Haymond, executive VP, digital partnerships, MasterCard. It makes them an ideal collaborator to bring to life the latest in experiential retail technology, like our shoppable storefront windows.”

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