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Walmart offers food online with local pickup
May 1st, 2014
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Shoppers who order groceries from Walmart’s website will be able to drive to a pickup center here and collect the food without leaving their vehicles under a plan the company presented this week to city officials.
Walmart is ready to test the new concept as soon as city officials here approve the plan, according to The City Wire, an online news outlet serving northwestern Arkansas.
The city’s planning department is scheduled to consider the proposal at its May 6 meeting, The City Wire reported.
The concept proposed for Bentonville, where Walmart is headquartered, represents a twist on a pilot program, dubbed Walmart To Go, that the retailer rolled out in Denver and San Jose, Calif., and that lets online grocery shoppers choose between home delivery and pickup at a nearby Walmart retail outlet.
Bill Simon, chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., told investment analysts in March that drive-through pickup had a 90% approval rating in Denver, and that the experiment prompted company officials to consider a test of consumer acceptance of a stand-alone depot.
Walmart is proposing a 15,000-square-foot facility in Bentonville that will store 10,000 grocery items, including meat, milk and produce, The City Wire reported, citing comments from company spokeswoman Deisha Barnett.
Customers who order online will be able to schedule a pickup time, Barnett said, drive to a pickup window similar to those in use at fast-food outlets and communicate with an associate, who would bring the grocery order to the vehicle.
A stand-alone depot would offer convenience, Simon said at the conference, and is not envisioned as a substitute to stock-up grocery trips to the retailer’s Supercenters.