Walmart Tests Grocery Pickup

by Mike Saucier

6922-walmartpickup-022Walmart is testing a new initiative in three East Valley locations that allows customers to order groceries online and pick up their order for free at the store. The Valley locations (in Mesa and Chandler) are the first in the Southwest to offer the new service and Metro Phoenix is only the fourth market nationally in which the retail giant is testing its Walmart Grocery Pickup initiative.

To use the service, customers visit and enter their zip code. If eligible, they are prompted to sign in or create their Walmart Grocery account. They select items and a four-hour pickup window. Walmart associates fill the order and call customers when it’s ready. On arrival at the store, the customer calls a designated number that alerts a store associate who then retrieves the order — which has to be at least $30 — and loads it into the vehicle. The customer does not need to leave the vehicle.

It’s all part of Walmart’s search for new ways customers can shop, this time combining digital and physical assets.

A spokesman for Walmart, Bao Nguyen, says the company chose Phoenix to test the initiative because “we have great customers and associates in that market and we have a strong store presence there.” According to Nguyen, Walmart has 62 stores in the Metro Phoenix area with about 14,000 associates, and 107 stores throughout the state with about 32,000 associates. “We’re currently tapping into our existing base of associates, and may hire additional associates to ensure a seamless pickup experience.”

Nguyen says Walmart is still assessing demographics as the company gets the word out on the new initiative. “We’re seeing a lot of promise with this service,” he says. “Customers are seeing value in it. We’re expanding it to test in other places around the country.”

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