"As Walmart’s low-priced groceries attract shoppers, the retailer is rolling out a fresh strategy aimed at wooing them into other aisles: stores with brighter lights, fashion-forward mannequins and colorful displays of makeup, pet supplies and more … Walmart’s snazzier look is part of a broader effort to sell more discretionary items - like jeans, lipstick and baby strollers - that usually carry a higher profit margin than groceries. Last summer, it tested the sleeker model at one of its big-box stores in Springdale, Arkansas, a close drive from its corporate headquarters."
The story says that Walmart "has turned five of its SuperCenters into flagship stores with the remodeled look. They are located in Teterboro and North Bergen in New Jersey; Yaphank, New York; Quakertown, Pennsylvania.; and Hodgkins, Illinois. All of the flagships have debuted in the past three months - with North Bergen and Teterboro opening in mid-January."
Part of the goal is to great even stronger appeal for higher income shoppers; CNBC notes that "in the past two quarters, about 75% of its market share gains in food have come from households that make more than $100,000 a year … Those shoppers could become a fresh audience for Walmart’s exclusive brands, such as a style and value-oriented activewear brand, Love & Sports, developed with fashion designer Michelle Smith and SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith, and a kitchen and home decor line called Beautiful, which was developed with Drew Barrymore. It also has an assortment of clothing from national brands, such as Levi Strauss, Wrangler and Reebok."
- KC's View:
This always has been the supercenter approach - get people in the store more often with low prices, and lure them into the other side of the store where the margins are stronger. Sounds like Walmart sees the inflation-fueled migration of more high net worth shoppers to its stores as an opportunity to lock them in for a more sustained period.