Walmart’s movie plan will transform parking lots into drive-in theaters


Walmart just made a surprising announcement: it will turn some of its store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters, using its existing real estate to revive a largely defunct way to view movies. The drive-in theaters will start going live in early August, according to the company, but they won’t be available at every Walmart destination. In case you’re wondering: yes, there will be popcorn.

Walmart announced the new plan on Twitter and has already launched a website dedicated to the new move. The drive-in theaters will arrive in partnership with Tribeca, according to Walmart, which says that its new plan will help the public watch movies while maintaining social distancing.

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Walmart is piloting a pricier 2-hour Express grocery delivery service


Record usage of grocery delivery services amid the COVID-19 pandemic has led to delayed orders, fewer open delivery windows and, on occasion, an inability to even book a delivery time slot. Walmart now hopes to capitalize on the increased demand for speedier delivery with the introduction of a new service that allows consumers to pay to get to the front of the line. The retailer confirmed today it’s launching a new Walmart Grocery service called “Express,” which promises orders in two hours or less for an upcharge of $10 on top of the usual delivery fee.

The service has been in pilot testing across 100 Walmart stores in the U.S. since mid-April. Walmart says it plans to expand the service to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and it will be offered in a total of nearly 2,000 stores in the weeks after.

Some Walmart customers may have recently received a push notification alerting them to the launch.

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Gatik’s self-driving vans have started shuttling groceries for Walmart


Gatik AI, the autonomous vehicle startup that’s aiming for the sweet middle spot in the world of logistics, is officially on the road through a partnership with Walmart .

 The company received approval from the Arkansas Highway Commissioner’s office to launch a commercial service with Walmart . Gatik’s autonomous vehicles (with a human safety driver behind the wheel) is now delivering customer online grocery orders from Walmart’s main warehouse to its neighborhood stores in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The AVs will aim to travel seven days a week on a two-mile route — the tiniest of slivers of Walmart’s overall business. But the goal here isn’t ubiquity just yet. Instead, Walmart is using this project to capture the kind of data that will help it learn how best to integrate autonomous vehicles into their stores and services.

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Walmart is using VR to help decide who should get promotions


Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S. with 1.5 million workers, is using virtual reality to help find candidates for management positions in all 4,600 stores, the Wall Street Journal reported. The VR headsets and the assessment program were designed by Strivr, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based company.

Walmart’s idea for a VR assessment was rooted in seeing how its workers might respond to challenging situations and how they prioritize different tasks—things that would be hard to identify in an interview. So far, 10,000 employees have undergone the VR test as part of an initiative to identify potential high performers and cut back the overall number of managers in each store. This is part of a larger plan to change how many higher paid managers are overseeing teams and to give its frontline workers more decision-making power in their jobs, according to an earlier report in the WSJ.

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Walmart offers free one-day delivery in attempt to catch up with Amazon

27F3C92A-6391-43AB-AC5F-C31CA6C69CD9Available across 75 percent of the country by year end

Walmart will offer free one-day delivery on up to 220,000 items on its online store with orders over $35. Walmart is currently offering the new service in Phoenix and Las Vegas, and will come to Southern California in the coming days. The retailer expects the service to be available to 75 percent of the US by the end of 2019, including 40 of the 50 biggest metropolitan areas.

The retailer’s announcement comes hot on the heels of Amazon’s decision to speed up its free delivery option for Prime members from two-day to one-day delivery. As of last week, Amazon’s new service is already available for select Prime items. While Walmart requires you to spend a minimum of $35 in order to quality for free delivery, Amazon has no minimum spend. Instead, Amazon requires you to pay a $119 annual fee for Prime.

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Walmart unveils an AI-powered store of the future, now open to the public


Walmart this morning unveiled a new “store of the future” and test grounds for emerging technologies, including AI-enabled cameras and interactive displays. The store, a working concept called the Intelligent Retail Lab — or “IRL” for short — operates out of a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, N.Y.

The store is open to customers and is one of Walmart’s busiest Neighborhood Market stores, containing more than 30,000 items, the retailer says, which allows it to test out technology in a real-world environment.

Similar to Amazon Go’s convenience stores, the store has a suite of cameras mounted in the ceiling. But unlike Amazon Go, which is a grab-and-go store with smaller square footage, Walmart’s IRL spans 50,000 square feet of retail space and is staffed by more than 100 employees.

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Most shoppers are still leery of buying their groceries online. But delivery in the US is set to ‘explode’


  • In the U.S., a mere 3 percent of grocery spending takes place online today.
  • A new study by Bain & Co. in collaboration with Google finds shoppers are still reluctant to try delivery services and often don’t stick with them.
  • But the firm predicts grocery delivery will ultimately take off as companies continue to invest in it.

Continue reading… “Most shoppers are still leery of buying their groceries online. But delivery in the US is set to ‘explode’”

Walmart is testing a robot to replace its fry cooks


The retailer wants to automate how its delis fry foods.

A robot named Flippy could soon join the largest workforce in the U.S.

On Monday, Yahoo Finance reported that retail giant Walmart is currently testing the robotic kitchen assistant’s ability to cook fried foods at its Culinary Institute and Innovation Center in Bentonville, Arkansas.

If those tests go well, Flippy could eventually automate the frying process at Walmart delis — meaning a robot could soon be cooking your chicken tenders and potato wedges.

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Brain Corp to provide AI services to Walmart

Brain Corp Screen-Shot-2018

The Auto-C, powered by BrainOS, joins Walmarts technology ecosystem.

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Brain Corp, a San Diego-based software technology company, announced today that it has entered into a relationship with Walmart to provide AI services to the world’s largest retailer.

Brain Corp’s BrainOS platform currently automates more than a hundred of Walmart’s fleet of commercial floor scrubbers across the United States. BrainOS provides the machines with autonomous navigation and data collection capabilities, all tied into a cloud-based reporting system. Walmart expects to have 360 BrainOS-powered machines in stores by the end of its fiscal year, January 31, 2019.

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This map shows the largest employer in every state

Screenshot 2018-12-05 11.51.52

This Map Shows the Largest Employer in Every State.

Take a look at this map. What’s the first thing that catches your eye?

If your reaction was “Wow, Walmart controls A LOT of the country,” you’d be right. This map shows the largest private employer in every state in the U.S., and Walmart is tops in an incredible 22 states. In total, the company employs 1.5 million Americans.

Here’s a full state-by-state list for you to peruse. Who’s #1 in your state?

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Ford teaming up with Walmart and Postmates on robot deliveries


Self-driving vehicles delivering groceries in Miami

Ford is joining forces with Walmart and Postmates to create a grocery delivery service using self-driving vehicles in Miami, the companies announced Wednesday.

Ford has been using Miami as a test bed for its self-driving vehicles since earlier this year. And more recently, the auto giant joined with Postmates to see how people ordering takeout food would interact with an autonomous delivery van.

Now Ford is moving to the next stage: grocery delivery. The company says it will experiment with different vehicle types, as well as modifications to those vehicles needed to keep perishable food items fresh. It will also experiment with a variety of scenarios, such as multiple deliveries on one trip and the user experience of retrieving delivery items from a fully driverless vehicle.

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Walmart is developing personal shopping services and cashier-free stores


Walmart’s Code Eight, led by Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss, has started testing personal shopping services for moms in New York City, Recode reports. Code Eight is part of Walmart’s startup incubator Store No. 8. The idea with Code Eight’s service, according to Recode, is for “busy NYC moms” to get product recommendations and buy them via text message. The shopping service is currently focused on health, beauty, household essentials and apparel/accessories, Recode reports.

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