How is Walmart using AI to design the retail experience of the future?
You’ll see first-hand on this field trip!
An Exploratory Field Trip to Walmart’s “Store of the Future”
“ Technology enables us to understand so much more – in real time – about our business. When you combine all the information we’re gathering in IRL with Walmart’s 50-plus years of expertise in running stores, you can create really powerful experiences that improve the lives of both our customers and associates. Customers can be confident about products being there, about the freshness of produce and meat. Those are the types of things that AI can really help with.” — Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart Intelligence Retail Lab
Walmart’s new Intelligence Research Lab (IRL) Store No. 8 is unlike any other supermarket in the world. Launched in early 2019, it’s a unique, real-world shopping environment designed to explore the possibilities artificial intelligence can contribute to the store experience. This location is the testing ground for new, innovative ideas within a real store (with real customers!) containing over 30,000 items. The store is set up to gather data about what’s happening throughout the store, at all times, using sensors, cameras and processors. And all of this hardware “is connected by enough cabling to scale Mt. Everest five times and enough processing power to download three years’ worth of music (27,000 hours) each second.” (Official Announcement: Walmart’s New Intelligent Retail Lab Shows a Glimpse into the Future of Retail, IRL)
JOIN US for a very unique glimpse into the future of retail at Walmart’s new tech incubator Store No. 8, in Levittown, New York, where Walmart converted it’s 50,000 square foot Levittown store into a “tech experiment” to research how a supermarket run by AI might operate and how customers would engage with the technologies.
We will be given a private, guided tour by Walmart IRL engineers including an overview of the technologies being used throughout the store and their mega-data center (which is a very visible part of the supermarket and shopping experience!). We will see, first-hand, how Walmart is innovating the customer experience and store management with AI and you’ll get to ask plenty of questions to take back to your team at the office.
Our special guest speakers who will discuss the future of retail (specifically regarding AI and data privacy) are:
- Lawrence Edmonson, Senior Vice President of Technology at VaynerMedia
- Joe Toscano, Author/Int’l Keynote Speaker, Automating Humanity; Founder/CVO, BEACON
- Charlie Oliver, Founder/CEO, Tech 2025 and Served Fresh Media
Tour Agenda: from Amazon GO to Walmart IRL
Although most of our field trip will be spent at Walmart IRL in Levittown, we will begin our day by meeting at Amazon Go (Amazon’s new, fully automated market) at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, where you’ll be able to grab coffee and light food for the 1-hour bus ride to Walmart. We will take note of our experience at Amazon Go and, at the end of the day, compare our experiences at Amazon Go and Walmart IRL (how’s that for comparison shopping!!).
During the ride to Walmart IRL, guest speakers will lead an interactive discussion on AI and the the future of retail. Once we arrive at Walmart, our experiential tour and discussions will focus on the following topics:
* the future of retail customer experience
* implementing technologies in real-world retail settings
* the future of work (automated technologies replacing human labor), and
* the evolution of in-store marketing and advertising.
We will explore how Walmart’s idea of a “live shopping environment infused with AI” is executed from both the consumer and employee perspectives, including concerns that these data-gathering and tracking technologies cause (especial with regards to consumer privacy/data and potential job displacement by automation technologies).
Because this store is an experiment, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask questions about it’s goals and results: How is Walmart educating consumers and employees in the store about the technologies they are interfacing with while shopping and working? What’s working? What’s not working? And what does this tell us about how we should (or shouldn’t) be thinking about the future of retail?
Meet at 9:00am at Emerge212 – 125 Park Avenue (between 42nd & 41st street)
***Registration is limited to a maximum of 30 people***
Senior Vice President, Technology
Founder/CVO, BEACON, Author of Automating Humanity
Founder/CEO, Tech 2025