Retail giant Walmart has announced plans to spend $49 million this year to improve stores in Pennsylvania, including at least two in the midstate.
Walmart said Wednesday it is remodeling 14 stores in the commonwealth, including locations in Ephrata Township, Lancaster County, and Shippensburg Township, Cumberland County.
In fact, the Ephrata store renovation just wrapped up and there will be a grand re-opening event on Friday. The 204,000-square-foot supercenter, which employs 350 people, underwent a variety of changes, including a new electronics department with interactive displays.
The remodel also included updating the cosmestics and sporting goods departments, expanding product lines in the hardware and home sections, increasing the number of self-checkout lanes to 22 from 8 and a new layout and lighting in the produce section, among other changes.
Ephrata customers also now have access to the Walmart Pickup Tower. The towers, similar to a big vending machine, allow customers to pick up their online orders in less than a minute by scanning a bar code sent to their smartphones.
To use the towers, customers choose from items available at Walmart.com and then select the pickup option at checkout.
The Shippensburg store remodel will begin in May and is expected to be done by July. Among the improvements will be a new electronics department, upgraded sports goods department and infants section and a broader selection of tools in hardware.
That store is about 169,000 square feet and employs 250 people.
As part of the 14-store remodeling effort, Walmart said it is planning to add in-store and online innovations, such as the tower, to even more of its Pennsylvania stores, with a goal of greater convenience and faster service for shoppers. The tower was only available in four Pennsylvania stores.
Among the changes will be a broader rollout of the chain’s online grocery pickup, which is currently available at 26 locations in Pennsylvania. Walmart intends to offer its free pickup service in 35 additional stores in Pennsylvania this year, though a list of stores was not released.
Walmart also offers a Mobile Express Scan & Go in eight Pennsylvania stores. The company is currently evaluating opportunities to expand that service to more stores. The service allows customers to scan items with the Walmart Scan & Go app while shopping in store, pay instantly and skip the checkout line.
Walmart is the latest big retailer to announce big investments in brick-and-mortar stores in Pennsylvania. Cumberland County-based Giant Food Stores this week said it will spend $70 million over the next two years to build new stores and fueling stations in Pennsylvania, as well as remodel existing stores.
Walmart’s Pennsylvania investments are part of a roughly $11 billion capital investment plan for fiscal year 2019 that the company outlined last fall.
The following Pennsylvania Walmart stores will be remodeled in 2018:
- 1275 N. Hermitage, Rd., Hermitage
- 890 E Main St., Ephrata
- 405 Murtha Dr., Waynesburg
- 250 Summit Park Dr., Pittsburgh
- 100 Lunder Dr., Bloomsburg
- 1325 S. Main Ave., Taylor
- 45 Williamson Rd., Greenville
- 100 S Conestoga Dr., Shippensburg
- 915 Mills Dr., North Huntingdon
- 3926 Linden St., Bethlehem
- 961 E. Columbus Ave., Corry
- 3722 Easton Nazareth Hwy., Easton
- 220 Route 6 and 209, Milford
- 3461 Horizon Blvd., Bensalem
This story has been updated to include more details about the store remodeling projects in Lancaster and Cumberland counties.