2017 WalStreet Speaker Series – Layout for Payoff: Design Drives Space Productivity Management

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Every Walmart store has 32 floor plans, with an amazing level of detail, from soap dispensers in the back kitchen to a baby stroller garage, empowering potential buyers to test the product.“Fast, Friendly, Fun, Easy” this is the mantra for Walmart customer experience. “Anything that our customer’s do not like about shopping that can be removed through technology must be removed…” These quotes from Walmart CEO Doug McMillan, shown on slides, opened the topic on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Sam’s Club Auditorium at the WalStreet Speaker Series hosted by the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Transforming those ideas into concrete action falls to David Scogin, VP of Store Layout, Walmart US. Scogin spoke as part of the WalStreet Speaker Series. His mission, serving as VP Store Layout: “We design great stores with right space.”
Simple enough, but the process is mind-bending in the details. Store layout and store growth depend on merchandising space productivity. Store layout uses a sales index to determine what space changes are needed in a store to best support customer needs.
This is good for customers, but tedious work for the Walmart Store Layout team. New store growth has consistently shrunk, from 354 in 2004 to only 15 planned for 2018. Space productivity management is key to Walmart’s current and future success.
With new store development slowing, Scogin’s team has focused on existing locations, with ambitious goals: 500 store remodels every 7 years; 10,000 special projects; and 100,000 floor plan and module relay updates going on at any time.
Scogin gave specific examples of remodels. In grocery sections, this includes positioning the fresh category for first viewing, and angling fresh produce low to the ground, so shoppers will see the vast selection and ‘wet walls’.
Scogin joined Walmart in 1990 and has spent most of his time in merchandising.  In 2007, he was asked to build and lead a new planning and modular development organization for all of Walmart US merchandising.
In May 2010, David joined the International Team and began an extended expat assignment with Walmart China. Upon returning to the US in June 2015, he assumed responsibility for Store Layout Teams for all Walmart US stores.
WalStreet Speaker Series is a collaboration of centers-of-influence and industry experts, in the retail industry, to learn about a specific topic. The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce  has added value to the WalStreet Speaker Series by following up with “FireSide Chat”, a more intimate, roundtable environment delving much deeper into the same topic as Speaker Series. Fireside is an unscripted panel discussion with attendees addressing specific questions and concerns from the audience. The next Fireside Chat is scheduled for Monday, November 13 at the Avondale Chapel and Event Center. Contact Dawn Stewart to register or for more information at dstewart@greaterbentonville.com
Recap and photos provided by WhyteSpyder