Walmart expands test of giant automated grocery kiosk
After a test in Oklahoma City last summer, Walmart is opening a second grocery pickup kiosk at a location in Sherman, Texas that enables customer to pick up orders without having to interact with a store associate.
Under the set up:
- Orders are placed by customers who shop online or through their mobile browser at walmart.com/grocery;
- Walmart associates inside the store fill the orders;
- The orders are organized in bins and placed in the massive kiosk located in the parking lot, which is equipped with refrigerators and freezers for perishable goods.
- Customers pull up to the kiosk building, walk up to an interface station and scan the barcode they received with their “order ready” e-mail. The kiosk retrieves the order, delivering it to the customer in a process that takes a minute or less.
Customers are not charged extra but must spend at least $30 per order to use the service.
“Not only do customers not have to wait for an associate to bring them their order, but they also never need to set foot inside the store,” a Walmart spokesperson told Business Insider.
The Sherman kiosk, measuring 11-by-127-feet, is able to serve five customers at once, larger than the one in Oklahoma City that’s able to service two at a time.
Walmart has been investing heavily over the last year in a variety of pickup and delivery options. At the end of Q2, Walmart U.S. had more than 1,800 grocery pickup locations, more than 320 stores offering grocery delivery, and more than 325 pickup towers, which focus on general merchandise. Grocery delivery is expected to reach 40 percent of the U.S. population by year-end.
“Grocery pickup wait times continue to come down and our grocery delivery times are improving,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. “We’re continuing to innovate with trials of self-driving cars in Arizona for our grocery pickup customers and automated picking capabilities for grocery pickup in our store in Salem, New Hampshire. Overall, our omni-channel initiatives are contributing to comp sales growth and providing customers with new levels of shopping convenience.”
- Walmart built a new vending machine that retrieves groceries within seconds – Business Insider
- Walmart expands test of giant grocery vending machine – Retail Dive
- Walmart introduces automated grocery pickup kiosk at Oklahoma City store – NewsOK
- Walmart Second Quarter 2018 Management Commentary – Walmart
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the shopper appeal and workability of grocery pickup kiosks? Do you see it complementing or replacing in-store grocery pickup or reducing the need for home delivery?