Walmart labels itself tech company

As the biggest retailer in the world, Walmart is keeping the pressure on itself to remain on  top. It's latest strategy: rebranding as a technology company, according to CNBC.

Walmart's Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King set the stage March 10 at the South by Southwest conference in Austin. During his presentation, Mr. King showcased Walmart's recent technology innovations, such as virtual reality headsets and machine learning robots. The tools are designed to fill online grocery orders as quickly as possible in stores.

The retail giant isn't just adding the technology "for tech's sake," Mr. King said. Walmart plans to hire about 2,000 people to serve as category specialists, who will use machine learning to monitor stock levels in stores and online.

Shelf-scanning robots are also allowing employees to cut time spent checking on items and instead spend it helping and talking to customers.

Walmart has struggled to distinguish itself as a "modern" retailer. Shoppers hold tight to the notion of the company's Southern roots, low prices and warehouse design, according to CNBC.

"One of the hardest parts [about my job is] people all have their own perceptions of Walmart," Mr. King told CNBC. "For years now, I've wanted people to understand we are building a tech organization. I've got a machine learning team. We have some of the best apps in the world."

Walmart's e-commerce sales jumped 43 percent in the most recent quarter. Throughout 2018, the company saw online sales increase 40 percent.

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