Walmart To Test In-Store Lockers For Pick-Up Of Online Orders

Since Amazon doesn’t have bricks-and-mortar stores, it has been rolling out a network of lockers at places like 7-Eleven and Staples, allowing customers to pick up their orders from safe, secure locations, instead of having to chase down FedEx, UPS, or the Postal Service. Now comes news that Walmart is getting into the locker game for its own online orders.

Like fellow big box retailers Best Buy and Sears, Walmart already has in-store pick-up for many items available online, though those other stores often offer same-day pick-up while Walmart’s site-to-store program has been criticized for its lengthy wait times. We’ve received numerous complaints over the years from customers who made a site-to-store purchase on Walmart.com and told it would take 5-7 days to arrive, only to see that item readily available at the store.

So it looks like the notion of these lockers is to offer the easy pick-up of the Amazon lockers with the in-store fulfillment of Walmart’s bricks-and-mortar competitors.

“We can build e-commerce equivalent to anyone in the world,” a Walmart exec explains to Reuters about the lockers, which will go into around a dozen outlets this summer.

The company will also be expanding its test of same-day delivery from the current roster of 25 stores to about 50.

“Is it really efficient to use our stores. We’ve been picking and putting items in boxes for years,” says another Walmart biggie. “Ship from store is no different. We are picking items from the shelves and putting them in a box.”

Of course, given that Walmart staffers are saying they don’t have enough time or manpower to keep stores’ shelves stocked, we wonder how the retailer would be able to handle the added burden of fulfilling orders for online customers.