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The Walmart in Fulton is one of nine stores in Mississippi that the world’s largest retailer plans to remodel this year. The company will spend an estimated $45.8 million in the state not only for the remodeling project but also for the launch and “continued expansion of several customer-focused innovations.”

“We can’t wait for Mississippi customers to experience the new and innovative ways Walmart is enhancing the retail experience,” said James Winchester, regional manager of Walmart in Mississippi. “From Pickup Towers to the brand-new Walmart Voice Order, Walmart is continuously developing new technology that will enhance convenience and save customers time and money.”

Grocery pickup is a growing and popular option that will be added to more than18 stores statewide by the end of the year. Those stores have not yet been identified.

Walmart also recently introduced Walmart Voice Order, which allows customers to simply say “Hey Google, talk to Walmart” and the Google Assistant will add items directly to their Walmart Grocery cart.

Grocery delivery will be added to 14 stores in Mississippi, as well, but those stores haven’t been revealed publicly yet.

But Walmart isn’t finished. It’s also adding Walmart Pickup Towers, which are 16-feet tall, high-tech vending machines that can fill a customer’s online order in less than a minute once they arrive at the store. Once the order is ready, customers step up to the Pickup Tower and scan the barcode sent to their smartphones to retrieve the items. Fifteen Pickup Towers will be added to stores across the state.

Nationwide, Walmart plans to add 900 Pickup Towers to stores, expand Online Grocery Pickup to an additional 1,000 stores and add another 800 stores to its Grocery Delivery footprint.

In Mississippi, Walmart has 85 retail locations and employs more than 23,605 associates. The company says it spent $1.2 billion with Mississippi suppliers in fiscal year 2018, and supported 15,373 supplier jobs.

dennis.seid@journalinc.com Twitter: @dennisseid

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