Huge self-service kiosk known as Pickup Towers are being built by Walmart in its stores. The purpose of the Pickup Towers, which are approximately eight feet wide and 16 feet tall, is to retrieve orders that customers have made online. They are typically stationed near the entrance of a store.
The original Pickup Tower first appeared in a Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart store in 2016. Now the retailing giant is rolling out more of them in a dozen stores located in cities such as Midlothian, Virginia; Gwinnet, Georgia; Auburn, Alabama; Enterprise, Alabama; Glenpool, Oklahoma and Gilbert, Arizona.
In order to use the kiosk customers are required to scan the barcode that is the purchase receipt. A door then opens within 45 seconds and the customer’s purchases are rolled out by a conveyor belt. According to a customer residing in Gilbert, Arizona who was interviewed by Business Insider, the kiosks have greatly improved the speed at which customers can pick their orders compared to the regular pick-up 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 speeds things up,” said the customer.
The huge size of the Pickup Towers is enables the kiosks to hold numerous packages inside. Though it eats up space, it has higher versatility compared to pick-up lockers which have also been tested by Walmart. This is because the compartment sizes can be adjusted.
Besides the Pickup Towers, Walmart is also conducting tests on self-service kiosks for grocery orders which have been made online. In a supercenter located in the Warr Acres area of Oklahoma, Walmart has installed a kiosk which measures 20 feet by 80 feet in the parking yard. Inside the kiosk are freezers and refrigerators designed to ensure that the groceries remain fresh. To get their orders all that customers are required to do is to key in a particular code and their package comes out in under a minute. Currently the service is restricted to customers whose expenditure per order is at least $30.
And as part of the retailer’s continued expansion in the online shopping space, Walmart earlier in the year launched a special discount for customers who make and pay for their orders online but who then pick those orders from its brick and mortar stores. On big items such as flat-screen TV sets, shoppers can save up to $50.