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Walmart talks upgrade schedule, plans for LaPlace Supercenter

LAPLACE — Free grocery pick-up is among the innovative features coming this year to the LaPlace Walmart Supercenter at 1616 W. Airline Highway, Walmart officials said.

Customers who order groceries online will have items delivered to them in the parking lot, without having to ever leave their car.

Anne Hatfield, corporate communications spokeswoman for Walmart, said an interior and exterior refresh and introduction of new maintenance technology would start in the summer and conclude with a winter 2019 “grand reopening” ribbon cutting ceremony.

The LaPlace location will remain open throughout the renovation process.

“Walmart stores are generally renovated every eight to 10 years,” Hatfield said. “LaPlace is due for an upgrade. While the renovation will offer a fresh new look, the innovations and improvements will help serve Walmart customers with a fast, convenient shopping experience for their busy lives.”

Renovation will begin with the addition of a “fast unloader” system in the backroom this summer.

Products are currently unloaded in a manual process that has seen little innovation in the last 50 years, according to Walmart.

The new unloader will automatically scan and sort items by priority and department, allowing associates to spend more time on the sales floor with customers.

An autonomous floor scrubber will make an appearance in the fall, using the latest technology to clean and scrub concrete floors in stores.

“The two hours a day it takes a Walmart associate to ride the scrub machine can instead now be spent tidying restrooms, dust-mopping the checkout aisles or engaging with customers,” Hatfield said.

Hatfield told L’OBSERVATEUR more features would be announced as the grand reopening approaches.

Walmart corporate recently announced plans to invest $11 billion in remodeling 500 stores nationwide.

LaPlace, Kenner, Covington, Thibodaux and Harvey are among the stores slated for renovation in Louisiana.

More than 20 stores across the state are receiving grocery pick-up. According to a Walmart release, new voice order technology allows Google Assistant to add items to an online Walmart shopping cart.

Other renovations proposed by the company include wider aisles, expanded self-checkout, private consultation rooms near the pharmacy and interactive displays in the electronics department.