Walmart wants to know if consumers want to pick up online grocery orders at an automated kiosk outside its stores.
In a test program, consumers who spend at least $30 worth of groceries from the retailer’s more than 30,000 items—including fresh produce, meat and dairy products—can pick them up for free at a self-service kiosk located in the parking lot of a Walmart in Warr Acres, Okla., a city about 10 miles from Oklahoma City. The plan is for the kiosk to operate 24 hours a day (its hours are currently more limited) so that consumers can pick up their purchases when the store is closed.
When a consumer selects to pick her up her online order at the kiosk, she’s prompted to select a pickup time. The retailer then presents her with a pickup code. At the store an associate, or personal shopper, then gathers the customer’s order. When the customer arrives, she has to type the pickup code into the kiosk. Then a door slides open with her bagged groceries.
A spokesman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, says the retailer trains its personal shoppers to “carefully handpick the freshest produce and choicest cuts of meat, just as if they were shopping for their own families.” The kiosk stores groceries in refrigerators and frozen food in freezers.