Walmart is testing its own AmazonFresh grocery pickup competitor
Just a few weeks after Amazon opened its drive-up grocery pickup service in Seattle, it looks like Walmart is trialling its own version of the concept with a new automated kiosk at a store in Oklahoma City. The service, which doesn’t seem to have any special name as of yet, lets Walmart customers order their groceries online or through an app and select to pick up the order from a 24-hour kiosk.
Just like AmazonFresh’s concept in Seattle, Walmart’s system sends a customer’s order to a local store, where employees will package their items into ready-to-pickup bags. When a customer pulls up to the kiosk, he or she enters a five-digit pickup code and the machine will retrieve the grocery bags for them, similar to a vending machine. The self-pickup service is free, but there is a purchase minimum of $30.
The automated kiosk — which at 20 x 80 feet, looks more like a standalone building — is being tested for consumer feedback before expanding more widely. Walmart says it’s been working on online grocery pickup since 2014 that’s similar to what AmazonFresh offers now in Seattle, and has expanded the service to more than 600 stores so it is hoping to quickly expand its automated system if all goes well.
Besides, AmazonFresh currently services customers in major cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, while Walmart has at least one location in every state. Given the market size, Amazon might need to do more than offer pickup without an order minimum or offer to bring your order to your car if it wants to fully compete. ■