Target isn’t the only retailer sprucing up its stores in the Twin Cities.
Walmart is shelling out $35 million this year to remodel about 10 stores across Minnesota, including metro-area stores in Apple Valley, Fridley and Woodbury.
It is also rolling out more enhancements to stores such as its curbside grocery pickup service, which will be added to another 14 Minnesota stores this year. About 13 Walmarts in the state already have the service, in which consumers place orders online and then employees bring the orders out to customers’ cars when they drive up to the store.
The Walmart remodels are not as extensive as the full top-to-bottom makeovers Minneapolis-based Target is giving to 300-plus stores this year. Each of those remodels costs at least $5 million apiece.
Target’s largest investment this year in terms of store remodels is right here in its hometown, where it is spending $250 million to remodel 28 stores across the Twin Cities.
The two retailers are making the upgrades to stay competitive in a retail landscape turned upside down by online players, especially Amazon. They hope to keep customers coming to stores by improving the physical experience as well as providing more convenient ways to pick up online orders at stores to save the retailers the costs of shipping them to peoples’ homes.
In total, Walmart is remodeling about 500 stores nationwide this year, said spokeswoman Tiffany Wilson. Last year, Walmart remodeled six stores in Minnesota, including stores in Maple Grove, Vadnais Heights, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights and Forest Lake.
“We’re making improvements across the stores statewide to improve the shopping experience and to make it more convenient,” Wilson said.
She said the enhancements include things such as widening aisles or redesigning the baby area so shoppers can more easily test baby strollers. The grocery department will also get a face-lift in some remodels.
Later this year, Walmart will also bring its first pickup towers to Minnesota. The towers, similar to a vending machine, allow customers to pick up online orders in stores without having to wait in a line for a customer service employee.
Other Walmart stores in the state to be remodeled this year include locations in Albert Lea, Baxter, Hutchinson, Monticello, Red Wing, Rochester and Sartell.
Kavita Kumar • 612-673-4113