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Walmart makes multichannel move with same-day service

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- An online order and same-day pick up service will be expanded to all Walmart stores beginning this month, the company announced. The “Pick-Up Today” service allows shoppers who make a purchase online to pick up their merchandise within about four hours if the order is placed before 6 p.m. Orders place after that time are available for pick up the next day before 10 a.m.

“We’ve seen strong customer response from initial tests of ‘Pick Up Today,’ and we’re pleased to expand the program,” said Steve Nave, SVP and general manager of Walmart.com. “Walmart is uniquely positioned to combine the power of eCommerce with our national retail footprint to offer a leading, multichannel experience that delivers the best savings and convenience to our customers.”

In conjunction with the national rollout, product categories eligible for the program have been expanded and will included roughly 40,000 items such categories as baby, toys, home décor, hardware, outdoor living, electronics, household appliances and video games.

The initiative is the latest development in a multichannel strategy that has been in the works for more than five years. That’s how long it has been since the company first introduced its Site-to-Store service, which offers free delivery to stores of goods ordered online. The service has been a big win for Walmart because it is able to sell merchandise to shoppers that aren’t normally available in stores, and goods are usually available for pick up within four to seven days. While customers are the beneficiary of the free delivery, the advantage from Walmart’s perspective is they tend to spend additional dollars when they pick up their order.

With Site-to-Store and Pick Up Today Walmart is leveraging its existing store base, but an even more intriguing opportunity exists with a pilot program that allows online customers to have their orders shipped to a FedEx store location for pickup. The test program is designed to appeal to customers in select metro markets who don’t have convenient access to a Walmart store. 

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