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BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart is planning to test a standalone grocery pick-up center for customers to drive up and retrieve their online orders without getting out of the car, according to a City Wire report. If approved by city officials, the pick-up center will be located in Walmart's headquarters hometown of Bentonville.
"We know at Walmart, our customers' needs are changing," said Deisha Barnett, corporate spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. "They want and need more shopping options, and we have the means to give them low prices, wide assortments, along with value and convenience in a seamless shopping experience."
Customers will be able to shop online for the items they want, schedule a pick-up time and visit the drive-in-style, pick-up center, where Walmart associates will bring their groceries to the car.
"We don't think consumers should have to pay more for convenience, which is why we continue to innovate and look for new ways their shopping needs can be met," Barnett said.
Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon first discussed this standalone concept during a March investors conference, where he noted that the success of drive-thru, pick-up testing in the Denver market led the company to consider standalone depots or modulators designed to serve as mini-fulfillment centers for online grocery orders.
Other convenience-oriented concepts Walmart is testing include store lockers in Washington, D.C.; Walmart to Go pick-up and home delivery in Denver and San Jose, Calif.; and Walmart's single Walmart to Go convenience store, also located in Bentonville.