Walmart Just Announced a Big Change in Pricing, and Employees Will Be More Productive

walmart just announced a big change in pricing, and employees will be more productive

Walmart store in Miami, Florida.

The idea made the time go by back then, and it's improving productivity now.

This is a story about Walmart and change -- and I'm pretty sure it's something I dreamed up years ago.

Background: As companies increase what they pay their workers, they can do one of three things:

  • Option 1: Some might simply absorb the higher costs and take smaller profits.
  • Option 2: Some might say they have no choice but to increase prices, or even lay off workers.
  • Option 3: The most interesting companies will look for ways to improve productivity, so that revenue and profits go up alongside higher wages.

I wrote recently about how McDonald's chose Option 3 after California raised the state minimum wage. And I think it also might explain a big change that Walmart just announced: namely how it's going to start displaying prices in many Walmart stores.

In short, Walmart says it's moving away from paper tags on their shelves displaying prices, to digital shelf labels, which they abbreviate as DSLs.

Among the benefits, Walmart says, is that it takes much less time -- minutes, as opposed to days -- for Walmart employees to update thousands of prices in its stores.

Walmart tested DSLs at 50 stores beginning last year, and the plan is to expand DSL to 2,300 of Walmart's 4,700 stores by 2026.

The official Walmart statement announcing the brand new era in pricing technology is credited to a Walmart worker named Daniela Boscan, whose title is food & consumable team lead at Walmart in Texas.

"Working with DSLs has transformed my daily routine," Boscan said, citing three main benefits:

  1. Increased productivity and reduced walking time: Since they can change prices electronically, she says, "a price change that used to take an associate two days to update now takes only minutes."
  2. Simplified stock replenishment: The Walmart system has a "stock to light" feature that lets a worker "flash an LED light on the shelf tag using their mobile device, signaling locations that require attention."
  3. Faster order picking and fulfillment: Similarly, there's a "pick to light" feature that quickly identifies the location of products that customers have ordered online, "speeding up the picking process and improving order accuracy."

The first item on this list spoke to me personally. Years ago I worked retail jobs (not Walmart, but similar), and some of my least-favorite days were when we had to walk through the store updating displays for hundreds of products.

"Walmart stores have over 120,000 products on shelves, each with an individual price tag. Every week our stores support thousands of pricing updates for new items, Rollbacks and markdowns," Boscan said.

Worth noting: The price technology announcement came shortly after Walmart announced a new bonus program for hourly associates.

I don't necessarily think one announcement caused the other directly, but nothing happens in a vacuum, and to the optimist in me, it sounds like increased productivity.

Whether we're talking about Walmart or other employers, I hope it's the kind of thing that can lead to more jobs and more job security for those who already have them.

Now, I have to point out of course that there could be other uses for a technology that lets you instantly change price displays for thousands of SKUs at once.

For example, you could support surge pricing, or even change prices dynamically so that two customers with different buying profiles see different prices. I asked Walmart directly about this, and the company said it does not plan ever to use either of those tactics.

"It is absolutely not going to be 'one hour it is this price and the next hour it is not,'" said Greg Cathey, SVP of transformation and innovation at Walmart.

I'll take them at their word, at least until I see evidence to the contrary. I prefer to be an optimist until someone proves me wrong.

Besides, all those years ago when I was working retail, I am sure I remember daydreaming about the idea of a system that would have allowed us to change all the displays in a store with the press of a button.

The idea made the time go by back then, and it's improving productivity now.

This post originally appeared at inc.com.

OTHER NEWS

46 minutes ago

Uber Eats customers issued warning over scam messages on WhatsApp

49 minutes ago

'We have to earn their respect' | Texas Longhorns join SEC as title favorites, but know road won't be easy

52 minutes ago

Video: Brittany Hockley doesn't look like this anymore! Former Bachelor star unveils shock new look ahead of upcoming wedding

52 minutes ago

Video: Heather Rae El Moussa heads to spa to unwind as frenemy Christina Hall's shock divorce delivers massive blow to their couples HGTV show - which they will now film WITHOUT Josh

52 minutes ago

Video: Sick deep fake scammers are using the image and voice of TV medics including GMB's Hilary Jones and late Doctor Michael Mosley to promote health scams

52 minutes ago

Video: Jackie 'O' Henderson's sexual shock: Radio host left stunned as she is told what is going to happen to her body as she heads into her fifties

52 minutes ago

Video: Dine-and-dasher makes very satisfying mistake after fleeing a LongHorn Steakhouse without paying - then has brazen outburst at staff

52 minutes ago

Video: Pacific Motorway crash: Wild moment sedan ploughs into hatchback at high speed before rolling down the side of a motorway

52 minutes ago

Video: Tycoon, 64, leaves note then jumps to his death from luxury Manhattan hotel after his movie-ticketing business was ravaged by COVID

52 minutes ago

Caitlin Clark pulled off an unbelievable behind-the-back dribble on the way to a falling layup

52 minutes ago

Pittsburgh Steelers coach linked to Jets in offseason, per report

52 minutes ago

Attributing Canada's June heat wave to climate change is an important step in adapting to a warmer world

52 minutes ago

Texans waive rookie OL La’Darius Henderson before training camp

52 minutes ago

An unlockable aspiration turned my Sim into a murdering, rocket-building cheese fiend

52 minutes ago

Los Angeles Chargers rookie selected by Michigan Panthers in 2024 UFL Draft

52 minutes ago

Fresh out of prison, ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro tells Republicans the Dems are coming for ‘you’ and ‘your kids’ at RNC

52 minutes ago

CRAIG BROWN: Ahem! Is that the Coughing Major in the salad aisle? My celebrity encounters part two

52 minutes ago

Game three: The wild State of Origin moment you missed: ball boys are caught in a surprising act during the brawl that made footy history

55 minutes ago

Manitoba, N.L., only provinces to offer publicly to take asylum seekers from Quebec

55 minutes ago

Trump Campaign Won't Agree to Vice President Debate

55 minutes ago

McDonald’s new $5 Meal Deal isn’t going as planned (so far ...)

57 minutes ago

Serial bank robber dubbed ‘Derby Desperado' wanted by FBI for North Texas heists

57 minutes ago

Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis believes race played role in handcuff removal from United flight

59 minutes ago

Advance polls open for Banff Avenue pedestrian zone vote

60 minutes ago

Doherty says Harris seeks to 'favour those coming into large wealth' with inheritance tax change

60 minutes ago

Andrew Scott nominated for two Emmy awards for work on Netflix series ‘Ripley’

60 minutes ago

Shaquille O'Neal picks 'definite' favorite in Caitlin Clark vs Angel Reese Rookie of the Year race

60 minutes ago

Tom Brady accused of 'disrespect' by former NFL star over claims he 'ignored' shock comeback offer

60 minutes ago

This 'new deal' for workers is a mortal threat to jobs and living standards, writes JOHN LONGWORTH

1 hour ago

End of an era: 'The Grand Tour' trio bids farewell

1 hour ago

Asia-Pacific markets tumble as chip stocks drop, Nasdaq records its worst day since 2022

1 hour ago

Delta organizes send-off for Team USA Olympic athletes at Atlanta airport

1 hour ago

Brian Miles: Police urgently seeking public’s help to find missing 71y/o man in Murchison near Byro Station

1 hour ago

Hyundai in no rush to take on Mitsubishi with PHEVs

1 hour ago

Russia's Arctic Gas Project Faces Uncertainty as Production Crashes

1 hour ago

Spurs Found Their Rhythm in Summer League

1 hour ago

Old video and photos recirculate, falsely claiming Trump wasn't injured

1 hour ago

Researcher describes unlikely yet effective catalyst for renewable energy: 'It could revolutionize the modern push'

1 hour ago

Madame Tussauds unveils Whoniverse-inspired set with Ncuti Gatwa waxwork

1 hour ago

New Nightfall Wireless Gaming Headset from JLab Promises Big Sounds for a Small Price

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global