Competitor Monitoring: Walmart to begin trialing in-store lockers

March 26, 2013
Profitero
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Profitero

Walmart has announced it will start to trial in-store lockers in selected US stores this summer in order to hold goods ordered online for shopper collection. The locker initiative is part of Walmart’s plan to combine its bricks-and-mortar dominance with online and mobile technology to compete with online retailers such as Amazon. Amazon launched its locker delivery service in 2011.

Walmart has also announced it is doubling the number of stores that can fulfill orders placed online, in an attempt to match Amazon’s distribution network. Whilst Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer, it is now looking to grow its online revenues and is focusing on linking its online business with the thousands of physical stores it has across the US. The retailer is also planning to ship orders from its stores directly, enabling it to fulfill customer orders much faster and directly competing with Amazon Prime which provides free two-day shipping in the US for $79 a year.

“We are absolutely tenacious about building best-in class e-commerce”, stated Neil Ashe, President and Chief Executive of Walmart Global eCommerce. “But we are the only ones who can marry that with the largest retailer in the world.”

Earlier this month, Walmart said it is tripling the number of pilot stores which offer ‘Scan & Go’, allowing shoppers to scan items with their iPhones and pay at self-service counters. With more than half of its shoppers using smartphones, Walmart is trying to make shopping more convenient for shoppers who embrace mobile technology.

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