Retailers Struggle With Store Presentation in the Wake of the Ecommerce Boom
Walmart and Macy’s Receive Criticism for Disorganized Sales Floors
Walmart (WMT), Macy’s (M), and other retailers are getting criticized for their appearances. As demand for ecommerce surged during the pandemic, many stores began to use portions of their floorspace to process online orders. Now that customers are returning to brick-and-mortar locations, some retailers are struggling to make their stores look the way they once did. Stray boxes, empty shelves, and messy displays are greeting customers at some recently reopened stores.
This trend is having repercussions for retailers as they work to recover from the pandemic. Recently, a Wall Street firm downgraded its rating on Walmart’s stock because of store presentation problems.
The Importance of the In-Store Experience
Retailers will need to fix the recent issues with in-store logistics in order to lure customers back through. This is especially important because in-store sales tend to be more profitable than ecommerce sales for retailers.
Thanks to the recent round of stimulus checks, many consumers may be looking to make purchases they had put off over the past year. If consumers are faced with half empty shelves, sloppy displays, or disorganized racks when they return to stores after a year of shopping online, retailers could suffer.
Walmart Invests in Revamping Stores
Walmart is planning to invest $14 billion in its business this year. Part of the money will be used to turn some Walmart locations into automated fulfillment centers. This move will reduce Walmart’s warehouse labor costs and will allow the company to place more employees in stores to help with customer service. Walmart is also redesigning physical stores so they are more aesthetically pleasing and easier to navigate.
The past year has been full of challenges for retailers. With a post-pandemic future in sight, companies are now working on ways to keep customers happy as they shop online and in person.
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