Walmart Gathering Experience from Retail Lab Store


A 50,000 square foot Neighborhood Market on Long Island is providing Walmart with data from store monitoring. Strategically placed cameras coupled with machine learning are used to alert staff to replenish shelves and to replace aging produce.

Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart Intelligent Retail Lab and a co-founder of, purchased by Walmart in 2015, stated “We really like to think of this store as an artificial intelligence factory, placed where we are building these products, experiences, where we are testing and learning”. The ceiling cameras are supplemented with sensors on shelves that detect stock not visible to the cameras of the monitoring system.

Walmart has ensured that shoppers’ privacy is respected and the cameras cannot recognize faces or track movement. The retail lab follows an earlier lab store based on a downsized Sam’s Club to test Scan & Go that allows customers to scan items and check out on their phones.

Information gained from lab store will allow Walmart to gradually refine and introduce technology into mainstream stores. The intent is to lower operating costs which will enable the company to compete with both mainstream supermarkets and Amazon.