Walmart will add pickup towers to a store in Lafayette and another in New Iberia and make improvements at others, including two remodels, store officials announced Wednesday.
Walmart will add towers to the store at 2428 W. Pinhook Road and the New Iberia store at 1205 E. Admiral Doyle Drive, install robot floor scrubbers at five stores and an automated unloading system for getting products off trucks at three others. It’s part of $73 million the company is investing in improvements in its Louisiana stores.
Remodels are planned in Jennings and Mansura.
“We can’t wait for Louisiana customers to experience the new and innovative ways Walmart is enhancing the retail experience,” said James Winchester, Walmart regional manager for Louisiana. “Walmart is continuously developing new technology that will enhance convenience and save customers time and money.”
The towers allow customers to order items online and receive them in the tower like a vending machine. It allows customers to avoid waits at the customer service desk, spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said.
The robot floor scrubbers will be used at the two Lafayette stores and the Supercenters in New Iberia, Opelousas and Abbeville. The scrubbers operate at the same speed as the manned scrubbers and allows associates to do other tasks.
The FAST Unloader system will be added to stores in Crowley, Opelousas and Jennings. It will automatically scan and sort items based on priority and department when they coming off a truck.
The crews that unload trucks have the highest turnover rate of any department at a Walmart, according to one report.
“Our Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran said it best at the recent analyst meeting,” Hatfield said. “Our roadmap to automate in-store tasks is focused in part on tasks – frankly – that we struggle to find associates to do consistently like unloading trucks.”
Plans for the remodels in Jennings and Mansura are not finalized, Hatfield said.
Walmart, which closed its Evangeline Thruway store March 29 that employed 291 people, has 138 stores in Louisiana that employ 34,830 associates.
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