Walmart to redesign produce section in bid to fend off Amazon – The Daily World

Posted: November 27, 2019 at 3:46 am


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NEW YORK Walmart Inc., wary of Amazon.com Inc.s encroachment into the grocery space, is revamping the produce department in its U.S. stores.

The nations biggest grocer will widen aisles, make fruit and vegetable bins more visible and consolidate organic items in one spot, it said in a blog post Wednesday. The renovations, dubbed Produce 2.0, will be in 800 Supercenters by the end of January and in about 3,000 stores, including smaller format Neighborhood Markets, by the end of next summer.

The changes follow earlier improvements Walmart made to the quality and assortment of its produce, a key category for food retailers and one where Walmarts offering has historically failed to dazzle shoppers.

We knew we were not meeting customers expectations for quality, so we went to work on that a few years ago, Charles Redfield, Walmarts Executive Vice President of U.S. Food, said in an interview. Now that were comfortable with that, were ready to change the look and feel of the department.

Produce can make or break a grocer. Its the most lucrative fresh product category besides meat, and shoppers buying fruits and vegetables spend 55% more on their trips, according to data tracker Nielsen. Thats increasingly important to Walmart as Amazon ventures further into perishable food, having recently eliminated the additional fee for fresh grocery delivery for its Prime members. Other rivals, like dollar stores, also offer more produce nowadays.

Walmart said last week that sales of fresh food were particularly strong last quarter, and groceries have helped to fuel 21 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases in its home market.

Redfield said the revamped departments will have as much as 15% more space in the aisles.

The company generates 56% of its U.S. sales from groceries, and takes in more than 20 cents of every dollar spent on food in the U.S. One area of focus has been organic produce, sales of which reached $1.5 billion in the third quarter, according to the United Fresh Produce Association.

Walmart isnt the only retailer to step up its commitment to berries and bananas lately. Kroger Co., the nations biggest traditional supermarket chain, has started selling longer-lasting avocados along with greens grown in mini-farms inside its stores.

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Walmart to redesign produce section in bid to fend off Amazon - The Daily World

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November 27th, 2019 at 3:46 am

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