Walmart Inc. will make a major store renovation push across the state in 2019, and Central Florida will get a piece of that.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer (NYSE: WMT) announced it will invest $173 million into updating Florida Walmart locations over the year, including 11 in metro Orlando. Those changes include several tech upgrades such an autonomous shelf scanning machine for 32 stores and 36 pickup towers, which are vending machines that can fill customer orders in-store.
Other new concepts include curbside grocery pickup being added at 72 stores and grocery delivery being added at 63 locations. Walmart joins other retailers such as Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (Nasdaq: SFM) and Niwot, Colorado-based Lucky's Market who have started home delivery services in the Orlando area.
“Our leadership has a fantastic vision for how we need to evolve and adopt to further position us as a leader in retail innovation, and I’m proud of the work our associates are doing to stay at the forefront of that change,” Elise Vasquez-Warner, vice president and regional general manager for Walmart in Florida, said in a prepared statement. “If you consider that almost every innovation being tested in the company right now is happening in our state, you can see why Florida is such an important area geographically for the business."