Walmart expands test of pickup-only grocery store concept
Walmart is seeking approval to open a pickup-only grocery store in a former Dominick’s store in the suburbs of Chicago in spring 2019.
Standalone pickup facilities have been tested near Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville and with a location in Metairie, LA, but the proposed facility — called Walmart Pickup — appears significantly larger at 41,700-square-feet.
Shoppers will order groceries through Walmart’s website or mobile app and arrive at an assigned canopied bay in the parking lot at the specified time to pick up their purchases. The primary focus will be on groceries, although customers will be able to order other products and have them delivered to the location in Lincolnwood for free pickup.
Walmart predicts the number of pickup trips at this facility, which includes 24 stalls, will be about 180 per hour or 1,960 daily, according to Supermarket News. The retailer will also make home deliveries from the site — an estimated 30 per day. Thirty to 40 employees are expected to run the facility.
Walmart spokesperson Ann Hatfield told the Chicago Tribune the proposed facility gives customers “yet another location close to where they live or close to where they work where they can go online, order their groceries and pick it up at this location. They don’t have to get out of their car.”
Walmart has significantly ramped up investments in 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.
Surveys show that consumers prefer outside pickup. It is also thought that the pickup-only concept addresses perishable item challenges, out-of-stock risks and inefficiencies from having associates fetching orders across store aisles.
In a similar experiment in mid-September, Walmart opened a second grocery pickup kiosk next to its superstore in Sherman, TX that enables customers to pick up orders without having to interact with a store associate.
- Walmart eyes pickup-only store in former Dominick’s – Supermarket News
- Walmart Pickup store planned in former Dominick’s grocery store space in Lincolnwood – Chicago Tribune
- Walmart expands test of giant automated grocery kiosk – RetailWire
- Is BOPIS best when it’s done outside the store? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do separate pickup-only facilities make the most sense for grocery? Does fulfilling grocery pickup through stores face too many execution issues?