QuickMods: Walmart's New Shelving Initiative

2022-10-25
4 min read

Introduction 

After a year of implementation, Walmart analyzed the successes and shortcomings of their initiative, Item Swap,  generated through merchant feedback. The result is their newest iteration, aptly named QuickMods.

QuickMods is the next evolution of Item Swap. Whereas Item Swap limited suppliers, items could only be exchanged on a 1 for 1 basis, QuickMods allows for merchants to make a variety of changes to their modules without completely reworking them.

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What Does QuickMods Do? 

Reduce & Add

In some instances, merchants may have many extra facings of a given item. Perhaps, the item wasn't as in-demand as predicted or issues in the supply chain have reduced its in-store availability. In this case, the desired QuickMods function may be to "Reduce & Add" (see the top left of the image above). A particular item receives less facings, and those facings are replaced by an item of similar size and quantity.

Reduce & Swap

The reduce and swap function, on the other hand, allows for a reduction of one or more items along with the expansion or introduction of a new item or items (see the top right of the image above).

Add & Move

This function allows for items to be moved horizontally on a shelf to make room for new items (see bottom left of image above). This function is limited only to horizontal motion--rather than vertical motion along shelf space--to keep restocking and reorienting "quick" for in-store employees.

Delete & Expand

This function allows for merchants to easily delete an item, for any number of reasons, and replace it with an existing item of similar size (see the bottom right of the image above).

What Does QuickMods Mean for Suppliers?

"The Natural Evolution of Item Swap"

QuickMods is likely to have a similar effect on suppliers that Item Swap had, only more extreme. Whatever complications and/or solutions were brought about as a result of Item Swap are likely to be intensified with the advent of QuickMods. 

What Is the Timeline and Cadence of QuickMods?

As of yet, there isn't a regular cadence for QuickMods, meaning that approval change happens more on a merchant-supplier basis than on a regular weekly or monthly schedule. Furthermore, the system cannot stack major modular rehauls (relays), and, again, it is not in the store's best interest to allow for dramatic store-wide changes.The conception of QuickMods, like Item Swap, is to make merchants' lives easier, giving them the flexibility to keep the shelves stocked and, thereby, improve the customer experience. 

A SKU'ed Point of View

On the one hand, QuickMods could be beneficial for CPGs suppliers with a considerable number of items that are the same size. If out of stock for one item, another of similar size could be put in its place.

The above-mentioned flexibility for merchants and customers does not, however, necessarily mean the same for suppliers. The more agile CPGs will likely benefit from the plasticity of QuickMods, whereas others, especially companies with only one SKU or multiple SKUs of different sizes, may lose out to competitors as a result.

Conclusion

Either way, QuickMods means that now more than ever the time is ripe for examining, gaining visibility into, and ironing out the kinks in the supply chain. The most efficient and agile suppliers will win the day with QuickMods, whereas others may be susceptible to the initiatives of their competitors.

To hear more about QuickMods, and in greater detail, check out this recording of our event with Walmart Senior Director II Centralized Assortment and Space Analytics, Josh Tubbs, as he explains QuickMods from a Walmart perspective and answers suppliers' questions.

The SupplyPike Team
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The SupplyPike Team

SupplyPike builds software to help retail suppliers fight deductions, meet compliance standards, and dig down to root cause issues in their supply chain.

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