Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Business

Ten Walmart stores being updated throughout Tampa Bay

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PALM HARBOR — The Walmart Supercenter in Palm Harbor is the latest in the chain to get a new look.

Walmart has remodeled three supercenters in the Tampa Bay area so far this year and plans to renovate a total of 10 neighborhood markets and supercenters in the area and 42 across Florida by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said. These multi-million dollar renovations — which range from new, interactive electronics departments to redesigned baby sections and expanded produce coolers — are meant to update aging stores in the region.

The rash of renovation comes as Walmart faces increased competition from both entrenched players like Publix and newcomers like Sprouts Farmers Market and Lucky's Market.

"2017 is going to be an exciting year for Walmart in Tampa as we continue to focus on how to better serve our customers through innovation and investments so they can save both time and money," Todd Owen, Walmart market manager in Tampa, said in a statement. "We've had a sharp focus on making our store experience second to none and our customers are telling us that our plan is working. Our team is energized and we're looking forward to exceeding our customer's expectations for what a great Walmart shopping experience can be like."

The Walmart Supercenter at 35404 U.S. Highway 19 N. in Palm Harbor has a brand new electronics department, where shoppers can try tablets, laptops and other gadgets before purchasing them. The new store's baby department has strollers at floor level so it's easier to access bulkier items. The product area has been expanded with new coolers and the cosmetics department has a new light wall. New flooring and larger signs can be found throughout the store.

Previous Coverage: Walmart expands curbside pickup program in Tampa Bay

The Walmart Supercenter at 1505 Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and at 12650 US Highway 301 in Dade City have also been recently upgraded. Walmart officials did not say which other stores in the Tampa Bay area will be renovated next this year. The cost of the renovations is expected to in the millions, but officials declined to elaborate.

Wamart has made it a point this year to reinvest in older stores across the country, said Doug McMillon, the CEO of Walmart, in an annual report released last month.

"We are a company of the future. We're operating from a strong foundation built by those before us and taking action aimed at strengthening our business this year and beyond," McMillon said in a letter to shareholders, associates and customers. "We'll continue to strengthen our stores around the world, we'll continue to build our e-commerce and digital capabilities and we'll put them together in a way that saves customers time and money."

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

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