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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Apr. 11, 201803:38 PM EST

Walmart says its spending $200 million upgrading Florida stores

Chain plans two new stores in Northeast Florida, is adding features to making shopping faster.

Walmart announced Wednesday it plans to spend $200 million over the next year in Florida remodeling and opening new stores, including in the Jacksonville area.

The retailer said in a news release it plans to open six new stores statewide. Those include a Supercenter and Neighborhood Market in Jacksonville.

A Supercenter is under construction in The Pavilion at Durbin Park in St. Johns County and a Neighborhood Market in Baymeadows.

Walmart also plans to remodel 36 stores, including three in Jacksonville at 8808 Beach Blvd., 10991 San Jose Blvd. and at 9890 Hutchinson Park Drive.

An idea of the redesign surfaced as Walmart Stores East LP asked the Jacksonville Planning Commission for a minor modification at its 8808 Beach Blvd. Supercenter that includes architectural design and signage.

The written description filed with the application explains that the new Supercenter design incorporates “architectural elements dramatically different from the traditional ‘big box’ design.”

Walmart has rolled out its Mobile Express Scan & Go service at all its Sam's Clubs in Florida and is adding Walmart stores.

It outlined a new prototypical color palette of gray, blue and orange for the stores and signage.

The work is part of about $11 billion Walmart plans to spend on capital expenditures in its 2019 fiscal year.

Walmart also says it working to make shopping faster and easier for customers.

“Making every day easier for busy families is at the forefront of everything we’re doing as a company,” said Elise Vasquez-Warner, a vice president and regional general manager for Walmart in Florida.

The retailer said it offers online grocery pickup at more than 100 Florida locations.

Shoppers use special parking spots and items are delivered to their car. The chain said it plans to add about 80 pickup locations in Florida in the coming year.

The Daily Record reported in March that Walmart was preparing the service at 10 Walmart Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in Jacksonville.

The company said it recently launched its Mobile Express Scan & Go service at 10 Florida Walmart stores. It already is available at all 49 Florida Sam’s Clubs.

The service allows customers to scan items with their mobile devices while shopping in the store, pay instantly and skip the checkout line.

Walmart Pickup Towers have been added at 15 Florida locations. Customers can pick up their online orders from a large vending machine inside the store by scanning a bar code sent to their smartphone.

“Customers have told us they want the convenience of shopping how, when and where they want,” Vasquez-Warner said.

“And, here in Florida, we’ll achieve that by building off the momentum we had last year, accelerating the rollout of customer-centered innovations, creating more than 1,000 jobs this year alone, and maintaining a sharp focus on improving our store experience,” she said.

Walmart has added Pickup Towers at 15 Florida locations. The machine vends items the customer has ordered online.



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