Walmart updates its FD store

Local store aims to improve customer experience

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Melissa Regan, a Walmart sales associate, works with a tablet in the store’s recently-remodeled electronics department in the Fort Dodge store.

Shoppers at the Fort Dodge Walmart may notice some new aspects to the store.

That’s because the store, located at 3036 First Ave. S., spent 12 weeks remodeling and completed the project in late September.

Store Manager Brad Henderson said there were a number of reasons for the remodel.

“With our ever-changing business and wanting to always renovate and have the best environment for our customers and associates, we always are looking at ways to improve and get better,” Henderson said. “And, obviously, renovations we do on a regular basis. The last one was seven years ago. It’s a pretty consistent thing we do as a company to stay on the cutting edge of technology.”

A number of changes to the store were meant to update the store’s appearance.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Samantha Mallinger, a Scan and Go host at Walmart, demonstrates how the store’s newly-relocated pickup center works. Store Manager Brad Henderson said the pick up center is now located at the front of the store instead of the back, and all the items are stored in lockers for the customer’s convenience.

One of the major changes was to the electronics department.

“We have a new state-of-the-art electronics department, a lot of interactive displays,” Henderson said.

The department has what Henderson called a “lower profile,” and said it looks similar to an Apple Store or a Microsoft Store.

Another major change had to do with privacy.

“Our pharmacy got an upgrade with a private consultation room over there,” he said.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari One of Walmart’s recent renovations was the addition of a private consultation room at the pharmacy.

Before the renovation, the private meeting space was simply a partition. Now, it’s a room with a door that can close, where the pharmacist can talk in private with the customer.

Right by the grocery section, Henderson said the store created a new money center service area.

“We’re giving that extra space for customers so they don’t have to do transactions at the service desk,” he said.

Lighting and signage throughout the store was also upgraded, particularly in the grocery department.

“The produce and meat areas have a lot of new state-of-the-art LED lighting,” he said. “New floors and lighting are both up in the produce and fresh areas up there.”

Self check out also has more hand scanners, and technology at the check out counters has been upgraded as well.

Another significant change is the relocation of the area where customers can pick up their online orders.

Previously, that was located at the back of the store near the photography studio.

“You’ll be able to come and get that right at the door,” he said, adding the new location is now more convenient for customers.

Additionally, all the pickup items are located in lockers at the front of the store. Once customers check in to the system, they are able to retrieve their items from the lockers.

Henderson said the store also offers a pick up discount.

“A lot of what we’re doing with pick up is continually to get better and stay on the cutting edge with that dot com and e-commerce business, as well,” he said.

Henderson added that Walmart is continuously looking for ways to make the lives of its customers easier. The new changes make shopping more convenient, he said, and improves the shopping experience.

“It’s more of a seamless shopping experience, whether you’re doing in-store, online or a combination of both, to be able to get in and out quicker,” he said.

Walmart will also be hosting a community celebration of the new remodel.

It will be Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event will feature a welcome tent with music, food samples, customer give aways and children’s activities.

About Walmart

According to information provided by Walmart Stores Inc., nearly 260 million customers and members visit its 11,593 stores across the world every week. In fiscal year 2017, the store has made $486 billion in revenue.

About 2.4 million associates are employed by Walmart worldwide.