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Walmart refreshing its produce approach

A few years ago, Walmart committed to a relentless focus on quality improvement and giving customers the best fresh produce possible, adding more organic and locally grown foods. Now the company sees an opportunity to change up its in-store look and feel to even further emphasize the quality of the food it sells, including an open market feel, an organic shop and new signage throughout.wamllale

The company previously redesigned the produce department with more light, better signing and specially angled fixtures to make shopping easier. It expanded its Fresh Guarantee and department managers’ responsibilities to include all of service deli, bakery, meat and produce.

"We deepened our relationships with farmers — and by taking days out of the supply chain, we’ve been able to provide fresh produce that lasts longer at home," said Charles Redfield, executive vice president of Walmart U.S. Food.

Walmart is adding low-profile displays in its fresh departments. These new bins allow customers to see everything available in the department right when they walk into the store. It's using colorful, abundantly filled displays to highlight freshness and the quality of items — for example, large bins of ripe red tomatoes and sizeable displays of seasonal items like squash and pumpkins.

The company is also making the aisles wider, and the new low-profile bins will enable customers to shop from multiple sides, making it faster and easier for customers to shop the department.

Walmart is also moving all organic items into one area of the department, so customers who want organic items can enjoy one-stop shopping.

"We’re proud of our prices, and we want our customers to know they’re getting a great value at our stores," said Redfield. "So, we’re adding more signs that are large and bright, so the low prices really stand out.

In addition to improving the shopping experience for customers, these changes should make it easier for associates to work in the department. The new format simplifies workloads, making it easier for associates to stock produce. This way, they can re-focus their time on serving customers.

The company said it is just beginning to renovate the departments with plans to update the majority of stores by next summer. Many others will be renovated as part of remodels.