13 Reasons to Shop at Walmart (Even If You Hate Walmart)

If you haven't shopped at the world's largest retailer in some time, here's some of what you've been missing.

The exterior of a Walmart supercenter under a beautiful sky
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's fair to say many shoppers nurse a love-hate relationship with Walmart. Prices are competitive (love), but the giant retailer consistently receives low marks in customer satisfaction surveys (hate). And yet, 240 million shoppers worldwide still visit its stores every week in 2021, so Walmart must be doing something right, even though that number has been in a troubling downward trajectory since 2019, when 275 million people passed through Walmart's doors worldwide weekly. If, like me, you abandoned Walmart years ago, it may be time to reconsider. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company has been fast remaking itself, sending shots over the bows of rivals ranging from Target and Amazon to just about every supermarket chain within shouting distance, including Aldi, Safeway, Kroger and even upscale Whole Foods.

"Walmart sells just about everything you could ever need so planning a trip to this big box retailer could make your life easier and reduce the need to go into multiple stores,” says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch.

Changes are happening both online and in-store. In an effort to accelerate its e-commerce business, Walmart paid $3 billion for online retail giant Jet.com. It also spent $16 billion buying the Indian online retail powerhouse Flipkart. In addition, it revamped its once-clunky Walmart.com website. The efforts are paying off. According to eMarketer, Walmart's sales rose 6% year-over-year in the last fiscal quarter, ending May 1. Online sales, which have more than doubled in the last two years, helped fuel the surge. They climbed 37% year-over-year, eMarketer notes, and Walmart reported in February its fiscal year 2020 online sales grew 79%

Walmart's e-commerce sales in 2020 claimed 5.3% of the market, the second largest. But it has a long way to go to catch Amazon in that department, with the online giant claiming 38.7% of U.S. e-commerce sales. Behind Walmart was eBay (4.7%), Apple (3.7%), The Home Depot (1.7%), Wayfair (1.5%), Best Buy (1.3%) and Target (1.2%). As for its physical stores, Walmart is spending more than $14 billion in 2021, mostly on automation and supply chain. It's also looking at major store redesigns, with airport-like signage and better integrations with its proprietary app to help customers more easily find items.

We checked out a couple of Walmart stores in central Virginia to take in some of the changes unfurled by Uncle Wally. We've also been tracking new features and services across Walmart.com, and spoke with some shopping experts. Take a look at what you'll find.

Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.