Walmart to Remodel 14 Arizona Stores; Will Add Updated Tech to Assist Shoppers Article originally posted on Phoenix Business Journal on April 10, 2019 Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) said it is going to spend $71.8 million this year, updating, remodeling and adding new features and technology to its stores in Arizona. The money is coming from the $11 billion Walmart announced at its annual meeting in October 2018 that it would spend in capital and innovation expenditures this year. Last year Walmart remodeled 15 Arizona stores at the cost of $52 million. Walmart said it will remodel 14 stores in Arizona, including four in metro Phoenix. The majority of the others are in rural areas. Each Walmart store has an internal team that plans out the remodels and selects the contractors well in advance, said Walmart’s Director of Communications Tiffany Wilson. Most of the renovations have already been assigned to contractors. “Each store hires a team of temporary associates to help throughout the remodel process,” Wilson said. “These jobs are created in addition to the existing store positions because our stores must continue to function and do not shut down during the remodel process.” In an announcement, Walmart said the updates and uses of new technology would make shopping faster and easier for its customers. “This investment demonstrates our commitment to our customers, our confidence in our associates and the importance of the state of Arizona to our business,” Todd Peterson, Walmart regional general manager for Arizona, said in a statement. By the end of 2019, Walmart wants to have more than 34 stores using its grocery pickup program and 20 stores with grocery delivery service within the state of Arizona. It is also looking to build 15 more pickup towers, which work like high-tech vending machines that allow people to pick up their online orders at the front of the store. Walmart is also looking to increase the presence of robots inside its Arizona stores in 2019. The retailer is looking to implement a system in 41 Arizona Walmart backrooms known as FAST, which automatically scans and sorts items as they come off the trucks. The company will add its autonomous floor scrubber to 48 stores across Arizona this year. This robot uses assisted autonomy technology to clean and scrub the concrete floors in stores. Later this month, Walmart is shutting down one of its Neighborhood Market stores in Chandler. The company is continuing to keep an eye on which stores are performing well and other investments it can make in the real estate it owns. Walmart is also looking to transform the massive parking lots at some of its stores into new offerings such as restaurants, shops, food halls, parks, entertainment venues and more. Below are all the stores in the state that Walmart will be renovating: Metro Phoenix 4435 W. Anthem Way, Anthem 2725 E. McKellips Road, Mesa 1825 W. Bell Road, Phoenix 4915 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale Bullhead City 2840 AZ-95 Claypool 100 S. Ragus Road Cottonwood 2003 E. Rodeo Drive. Douglas 199 W. 5th St. Page 1017 Haul Road Prescott 3050 AZ-69 Safford 755 S. 20th Avenue Sierra Vista 500 AZ-90 Tucson 1260 E. Tucson Marketplace Blvd. 2823 W. Valencia Road.