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Walmart Introduces New App To Attract Busy Shoppers Into Its Stores

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Attention Walmart shoppers! Pull out your smartphones.

Walmart has upgraded its app with something called Store Assistant.

"Essentially, Store Assistant puts all the tools that you need to make shopping fast and easy right at your fingertips," says Erin Hulliberger, a spokesperson for Walmart.

Point Park University business professor Elaine Luther thinks Walmart is on to something here.

"Some of the features they are adding to it are really great. One of them is that you are going to be able to make your list before you go and they will see if the store has it, search the price, and then when you walk into the store it actually transforms into the map of that store and tells you where those things are," Luther told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.

That map feature is not yet available in every Walmart, says Hulliberger.

"What we are doing is creating a map that is unique to each and every one of our Walmart stores," she says. "With 4,700 of them, we think it's something that is going to be really helpful to our customers. It's currently in just a handful of our stores, but we're in the process of rolling them out, and we'll get them out nationwide just as fast as we can."

It's all part of an effort to help busy people.

So who is most likely to use this?

"Someone whose kids will start screaming after 20 minutes in the store, so they have to get out," said Luther.

"This app is going to be really helpful for our customers, especially busy families who really want to get in an out of our stores really quickly and easily," added Hulliberger.

Luther says the big box retail stores like Walmart are looking for every way possible to get online shoppers into the stores. But she says it will take more than technology to attract customers.

"I think that the real thing that you need to do to keep coming into stores is to have new and surprising things because that's what's working for TJ Maxx and Marshalls."

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