Walmarts in South Florida getting high-tech makeovers

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Discount retail giant Walmart is implementing elements of the technological revolution. Enhancements including robotic aid and convenience-driven amenities are popping up in the South Florida stores.

Walmart’s new “Pickup Towers,” sky-high vending machines that will release customers’ items from online orders are trickling into our area. The company’s Online Grocery Pickup allows customers to order their groceries and pick them up without leaving the car.

The superstore is testing robots that can scan shelves and detect when supplies are running low. The same robots can also determine if items are mislabeled or misplaced.

The robots are still in the works, but South Florida has started seeing the pickup towers and grocery pickup at local stores.

The new general manager for Walmart in South Florida is focused on bringing new innovations to the region. Jaime Fernandez, who has worked for companies such as Proctor & Gamble and Clorox, has most recently led Walmart’s Puerto Rican operations as regional general manager.

Fernandez, who relocated to Miami in March, now oversees 40,000 or more employees in 90 stores in his South Florida domain. His focus is on bringing the high-tech upgrades to the sunshine state.

Walmart has been able to reign victorious during the retail apocalypse. The purchasing giant has trimmed pricing to come within an average of 3 percent of Amazon, according to e-commerce analytics company Profitero.

The company is aiming to capture customers in the sweet spot between the ease and convenience of online shopping and the experience of the physical stores.

For now, key components to achieving Walmart’s mission are the Pickup Towers, currently available in four So FL stores, and online grocery pickup, which is featured in about 30 stores throughout South Florida.

Walmart will see a true test of the impact of their innovations’ s once the results of the holiday shopping season are in. Those numbers will not be available until early 2018.

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