Walmart is building giant self-service kiosks in its stores that retrieve customers’ online orders.
The first kiosk appeared in a Walmart store in Bentonville, Arkansas last year.
The company is now rolling them out to more than a dozen stores in cities including Gilbert, Arizona, Glenpool, Oklahoma; Enterprise and Auburn, Alabama; Gwinnett, Georgia; and Midlothian, Virginia.
The kiosks, which Walmart calls Pickup Towers, are massive — standing at least 16 feet tall and about 8 feet wide — and they are typically located near store entrances.
To use the tower, customers scan a barcode located on their purchase receipt, and within 45 seconds, a door on the machine opens and the items appear on a conveyer belt.
A customer of the Gilbert, Arizona, Walmart store told Business Insider that the service is a vast improvement from the retailer’s regular in-store pickup process.
“Compared to the normal pickup of going to the back of the store, waiting for an employee to see you, then waiting for them to go in the back, this really sped things up,” the customer said. “Obviously being in the front of the store next to an entrance really makes it convenient. I also don’t need to show security my receipt because they see me getting the item.”
The machine’s giant size is due to the fact that it holds tons of packages inside. While it requires a lot of space, it’s more versatile than pickup lockers — which Walmart has also tested — because it has the ability to adjust the size of the compartments where packages are kept.
Walmart recently started testing a similar concept for online grocery orders.
The company also rolled out a new discount this year for shoppers who purchase items online and pick them up in stores.
The discount allows shoppers to save as much as $US50 on the purchase of large items like flat-screen televisions.