Wal-Mart is rolling out a Beta test of a locker system in several stores to hold products ordered online until customers pick them up. The test, which starts this summer, is part of a push to link Wal-Mart’s e-commerce business with its thousands of locations around the world, said Neil Ashe, chief executive of Wal-Mart’s e-commerce unit.
The move also looks to offset inroads already made into storage locker systems by rival Amazon.com. Amazon has no stores, and is installing lockers inside locations such as Staples and supermarkets to help customers store and pick up items delivered from its site.
Using stores as fulfillment centers allows Wal-Mart to offer same-day delivery and next day delivery “at very low cost,” Joel Anderson, chief executive of Wal-Mart.com, told the Associated Press. “Is it really efficient to use our stores. We’ve been picking and putting items in boxes for years,” he added. “Ship from store is no different. We are picking items from the shelves and putting them in a box.”
This announcement follows Friday’s announcement that the retail giant was exploring crowdsourcing deliveries in the future.