The future of retail, according to Walmart at CES

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, shares its plans to adapt retail to customers, its associates, and society.

During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held the first month of the year in Las Vegas, Walmart revealed how some of the latest technologies will enable it to deliver a new kind of customer-centric, interconnected, frictionless commerce that consistently exceeds expectations. In addition, the company laid out its plan for continuous innovation, specifically, how the technology it builds will benefit customers and members, its team of associates, and society.

“We build technology to serve people, not the other way around,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart Inc. at CES.

Customers and associates

Walmart showcased how AI, GenAI, and AR technologies will reimagine the retailer’s role as a shopping destination to serve as a customer’s assistant. Specifically, Walmart unveiled a new GenAI-powered search experience now available to iOS customers. The experience allows search by specific instances, for example, a soccer viewing party versus individual searches for French fries, drinks, and a 90-inch TV.

A look at Walmart InHome Replenishment, which uses AI and Walmart’s decades of replenishment expertise to ensure shopping carts are filled with the right items at the right time and delivered to the kitchen fridge or garage.

A beta social commerce platform called Shop with Friends transforms shopping with augmented reality by enabling sharing lists with friends and receiving feedback.

But adaptive retail isn’t just about search and discovery; it’s about creating personalized, seamless, and flexible end-to-end shopping experiences.

Sam’s Club introduced a new technology that solves the wait to verify receipts when leaving the Club. It uses a pioneering application of AI and computer vision technology.

Walmart’s vision of the future of retail also includes improving customer convenience to receive items in as little as 30 minutes by expanding drone delivery to an additional 1.8 million homes in the Dallas area Fort-Worth, 75% of the area. Of the 120,000 items in a Supercenter, 75% meet the size and weight requirements for drone delivery size and weight requirements for drone delivery.

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Walmart focuses on developing exceptional technology for its customers and its 2.1 million associates worldwide. In August, it launched a GenAI tool for associates in the United States and Canada called My Assistant. The tool will be expanded so that in the coming year, associates in 11 countries will interact with My Assistant in their native language to work and resolve problems.


As a company that develops technology for good, Walmart has been working since 2005 to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment. Today, more than 47% of its operations use renewable energy and will reach more than 50% by 2025 and 100% by 2035.

Walmart also announced ambitious clean energy goals at CES.

By the end of 2030, the retail giant intends to advance its transition to emissions-free energy by servicing up to 10 gigawatts of new clean energy projects inside and off-site, equivalent to the annual energy consumption of more than two million homes.