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Wal-Mart To Join Amazon In Providing In-Store Locker Service 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the blending-of-retail-models dept.
RougeFemme writes "Amazon has been placing lockers in brick-and-mortar retail stores, such as 7-Eleven, for pickup of online purchases. Walmart plans to pilot a similar program, presumably making it easier to pick up online purchases at Wal-Mart. 'Wal-Mart hopes its network of physical stores, which number about 4,000 in the United States, will give it an edge as consumers increasingly use smart phones while they shop. Wal-Mart has been testing the shipping of online orders from a small number of its physical stores for about two years. In 2013, the company plans to expand this program from about 25 stores currently to a total of roughly 50 stores. ... Two-thirds of the U.S. population live within five miles of a Wal-Mart store."
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Wal-Mart To Join Amazon In Providing In-Store Locker Service

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  • Goodbye USPS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:49PM (#43297069)
    (self-explanatory subject)
    • Re:Goodbye USPS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xphile101361 (1017774) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:02PM (#43297243)
      Only if Amazon also feels like buying a fleet of trucks and being responsible for delivering these packages to the B&M locations. Walmart already has a fleet of vehicles, but I would guess that they have a small percentage of the online store sales. I'm also interested to see how they market this to customers. Why would I want to pick-up in store vs having it shipped to my house. Are they going to start charging to have it shipped to a residential address? That could quickly become a differentiator between online stores, as most people that I know only care about the total price of their purchase.
      • Re:Goodbye USPS (Score:4, Interesting)

        by FrankSchwab (675585) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:07PM (#43297319) Journal

        You realize the Amazon has been trialing same-day delivery of orders? This simply provides them with a cheaper (and more secure) way to deliver to you - you don't have to worry about the neighbor kid stealing stuff off your front porch, and they only have to deliver to one location rather than to 50 different houses.

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          In many newer neighborhoods, the mailboxes are just lockers at the end of the street anyway. I currently live in a neighborhood with delivery to each house, but a few years ago, the neighborhood I lived in only had deliver to an apartment style mailbox locker down the street. This was not a rural neighborhood. It was in the Sacramento metropolitan area.
      • If I buy something from most B&M stores, "ship to store" is free and "ship to my house" can quickly become a significant portion of the total cost. Having worked with a company that used UPS' Roadnet to route its own delivery trucks, I know how much more expensive it can be to deliver individual items than it is to just deliver everything to a single depot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      (self-explanatory subject)

      Amazon is rolling out offering same-day or next-day delivery across the entire country. Why the hell do I want to drive across town to a Walmart to pickup my stuff when I can have a guy deliver it to my door? The country's postal service isn't going anywhere; It's still the only way to legally serve a large number of documents, send bills, etc. No, the only thing the USPS needs to fix is its budget: They need to pare-down their offerings and focus on what they're still needed for: envelopes, small packages,

      • Re:Goodbye USPS (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LurkerXXX (667952) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:22PM (#43297451)

        Why the hell do I want to drive across town to a Walmart to pickup my stuff when I can have a guy deliver it to my door?

        You might not want to do it, so don't.

        Personally, I'm at work all day, and don't want someone stealing something delived off my porch while I'm at work. I'd prefer a locker I can pick up things from that will be secured until I can get at them.

        Not everyone works at home, has a stay-at-home spouse, or lives in an are where they trust no one will every steal a delivery left out.

        Please.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Personally, I'm at work all day, and don't want someone stealing something delived off my porch while I'm at work. I'd prefer a locker I can pick up things from that will be secured until I can get at them.

          Drop boxes for mail have been around since the 1600s. But hey, if you want to drive across town because you need the excercise, rock on man.

          Not everyone works at home, has a stay-at-home spouse, or lives in an are where they trust no one will every steal a delivery left out. Please.

          There were two shootings in my neighborhood last night. My mail is kept in a lock box and shipments that won't fit are kept at the post office... which is located four blocks from here, not 15 miles like Walmart. But don't let me interrupt a perfectly good internet rant with logic and facts. Please, continue.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Drop boxes for mail have been around since the 1600s. But hey, if you want to drive across town because you need the excercise, rock on man.

            Those of us in apartments don't get to install whatever we wish in the commons areas. Using the Amazon Lockers is a lot easier than moving to a building where I can have a drop box.

          • by LurkerXXX (667952)

            Drop boxes for mail have been around since the 1600s.
            Congratulations, you don't live in an apartment building or condo where you might not have that option, or an area with a home owners association which may make it a hard proposal.

            Not everyone can easily install a dropbox. Not everyone has a mom at home to sign for packages so they are there when you get home from junior high like you must.

            My mail is kept in a lock box and shipments that won't fit are kept at the post office

            And how late is the post offic

          • Some people live closer to Wal-Mart than the post office. And more importantly, Wal-Mart is open 24/7, not 8 to 4 (and yes, I've had Postal Service employees refuse service to me at 4:00:30 PM).

            Personally, I just have everything delivered to my work address - that way there's always someone to sign for it and to take responsibility for it until it gets into my hot little hands.
            • Just pointing out, not every Walmart is open 24/7. I'd imagine they'd almost all have longer hours than the post office, though.
              • by Githaron (2462596)
                I am curious what percentage of Walmarts are not 24/7 because it has been a long time since I have seen one.
                • I know the hours of 3 Walmarts in my general area. There's 2 that are not, and one that is. One of each is in central NJ, and the third is in northern NJ.
          • So what happens when that post office is closed? And shock, if you get a weapon, you CAN defend your self from shootings rather than being afraid. But don't let me interrupt a perfectly good internet fearmongering reply with logic and facts. Please, continue.

            • by unix_core (943019)
              Don't worry about the fearmongering reply. If there are any facts or logic in your post, it's completely undetectable.

              How on earth could having a weapon at home protect you from a shooting in your neighborhood? Unless It happends when you are in your home and somone is specifically out to kill you (which is highly unlikely unless you are gang member yourself) touting a gun would only make the situation much more dangerous for yourself and your family.
              • so you are suggesting that not being able to defend yourself from a person who can kill at a distance is less dangerous than being able to possess the ability to return that ability? You need to look up amoral violence. And yes there are people out there who will do just exactly that (you are in your home and somone is specifically out to kill you) you don't need to be a gang member. You just need to have stiff or money and that person needs to have a weapon and a need for your stuff. Still you perfer to fi

          • by Githaron (2462596)

            But hey, if you want to drive across town because you need the excercise, rock on man.

            You are doing it wrong.

          • I think what he's saying is that not everybody lives in a perfect neighborhood, not everybody lives in "the hood" (as it seems you do based on your description) which means many people live somewhere in between. That said, I think having a choice is pretty nifty. Saying that he shouldn't have a choice because we need to fund poor poor USPS and give them that monopoly they so well deserve, or because walmart is evil for the crime of making things affordable for the poor and therefore shouldn't be permitted t

      • Re:Goodbye USPS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@ w o r f.net> on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:25PM (#43297479)

        No, the only thing the USPS needs to fix is its budget: They need to pare-down their offerings and focus on what they're still needed for: envelopes, small packages, and letter delivery services. Their problem is that they bloated up while companies like FedEx and UPS took over the lucrative markets of large package delivery and organized to provide rapid package services worldwide. Now they need a strategic refocusing... but to say they're dead because of Walmart?

        No, it's because George W. Bush signed a law that stated that USPS must prepay the pension 75 years in advance. Yes, USPS is paying into the coffers of wall street the pensions of people who are not even of working age yet (who of course, aren't employed by USPS yet).

        Until then, USPS was pulling in some pretty hefty profits ($1B or so). Of course, all that and more has to go to Wall Street to manage the pension.

        http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/internet/email-isnt-killing-the-post-office [ieee.org]

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Exactly right. This was a scam to give Wall Street extra cash, so they can mismanage and steal. It had nothing to do with pensions or competitiveness.

        • George W. Bush signed a law

          In fairness, Congress had to pass that law first. And there are an awful lot of underfunded government pensions out there.

        • by Y-Crate (540566)

          The worst part is, the people who pushed this legislation are the same ones who will dance over the remains of a bankrupt Post Office, proudly declaring that "greedy" workers were to blame. Even though no government agency, union or private company would even dream up something like this. I'm pretty sure pre-funding 75 years of retirement in a decade's time would get a CEO / board of directors sacked in oh... about a week.

          It's actually a two-pronged assault. The primary goal is to destroy the finances of an

        • by will_die (586523)
          Congress want to protect the taxpayer from having to take over the duties that the USPS said they would do, the postmaster general and the postal unions want to make the taxpayers pay for thier poor management and keep things as they are.
          Dropping the law requiring the USPS to actually do some proper financial management would not make them competative again; even ignore the money they owe for this they would of lost money for the last couple of years.
          BTW the 75 years is number of years that for ACCOUNTIN
      • A functional tracking system would be a good start. It isn't like the package market is something they just can't do. They just do a crap job of it so people use the other carriers all the time. The post office could and should improve their service and they'd probably see more use.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        The USPS budget is only broken because Congress sets it. USPS operates under a requirement that they serve everyone. There are still places where UPS and FedEx contract out to the USPS for delivery. And nobody is really world-wide, DHL tried it, but couldn't succeed in USA, and UPS and FedEx have very litle presence outside the USA (some countries more than others, so they do have international presence, but not world-wide).
      • by prowler1 (458133)

        Because I live in an apartment block and have in the past had packages dumped at the communal front door of the apartment block and I work in an industrial type complex where all the delivery people seem to get lost and either don't deliver the package and I have to pick it up from their depo on the other side of the city or it gets delivered to the wrong building and I am lucky to every see it.

        Something like this would be great for me since it means I know that it will be delivered safetly and and be secur

      • My previous post wasn't off topic, THIS one is. Stop modding me 'offtopic' because you disagree with me, that's what 'overrated' is for, idiot.

      • To add to this if %item% is ALREADY AT THE STORE all Corp has to do is send a message stating

        " Customer %number% named as %name% has purchased %item list% online for store pickup to be pulled from store stock place in locker %number%"

        and by the time the customer drives to Walmart finds parking and then gets to the lockers the stuff is already there

      • Why the hell do I want to drive across town to a Walmart to pickup my stuff

        Because you're already going to walmart to grocery shop anyway.

    • by Ichijo (607641)

      Last year, the USPS raised my 6 month P.O. box rental fee by 41%. It seems strange that they raised the rental rates even while fewer P.O. boxes were being rented in a down economy.

      It just shows how the USPS (or Congress, who sets the rates) are disconnected from reality.

      • Re:Goodbye USPS (Score:4, Interesting)

        by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:39PM (#43297613)

        Last year, the USPS raised my 6 month P.O. box rental fee by 41%. It seems strange that they raised the rental rates even while fewer P.O. boxes were being rented in a down economy.

        It just shows how the USPS (or Congress, who sets the rates) are disconnected from reality.

        It is called death throes if I'm not mistaken.
        Forced to swallow a poison pill and forbidden to spit (or vomit) it out [thinkprogress.org].

  • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @05:56PM (#43297175)

    I mean within the store. I've done Walmart pickups at a couple stores and the pickup department is way the Hell in the back of the store, as far from the entrance as they can put it. When I do in-store pickup at a local store, I do it to reduce the time I spend walking around the store, not maximize it. :P

    • by chromas (1085949)
      Free Store Pickup Today items can be ordered online just before you drive over and you can often save $5-10 compared to lifting it off the shelf yourself. I wonder if that annoys any of the workers.
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        I used to do that at Best Buy, but even after it was marked "ready" 50% of the time they had to go find it on the shelf and run it over. It's like reverse convenience, multiple lines, slow service, and in Best Buy's case, same price. Well, except for the time I ordered a web special on my phone and waited in the store for them to get it, for the $5 savings.
    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      I mean within the store. I've done Walmart pickups at a couple stores and the pickup department is way the Hell in the back of the store, as far from the entrance as they can put it. When I do in-store pickup at a local store, I do it to reduce the time I spend walking around the store, not maximize it. :P

      It's the same reason why they put electronics and sporting goods in the back of the stores: those are what bring people in, so if you make them walk past other stuff they might see something they want to buy. Although this would really only work for people who browse and are impulsive; if you go to a store knowing what you want and know you are getting only that, then you aren't going to be buying anything else. On the bright side, you can walk into pretty much any Wal-mart/best buy/whatever and assume th

      • Pickup is at the back because it's close to the receiving dock and the stockroom.
        • by fotbr (855184)

          On the rare occasion that I have to get something from walmart, I use the door by their automotive service department (yes, I know, not every walmart has one). Quick in, quick out, the register at the automotive desk works just as well as the ones up front, and often with no line. The only real downside is that only works when the service department is open.

    • I've always liked how Target seems to position their pick up area -- at least in their newer stores. Right by the front, almost a distinct area from the rest of the store. Walk in, take care of business, walk out. They've got a pretty good system for things like wedding registrations where they hand you a scanner, and you can walk through the store, look at items and add them to your list. It's a good position to be in for integrating physical retail into a mixed online/offline retail era.

      I'd love to sh

    • At every Walmart I've been to, at the front is the cash registers, followed by fresh food and women's clothing (I'm not going to order those online from Walmart, as I'd want to look at them first). When I order stuff from Walmart, it's usually electronics, which is in the back anyway, right next to the online pickup.

      It reduces time for me; Even though I have to wait for someone to come to the back and hand me the item(s), that is less time than it would take for me to go through multiple isles and find t
  • Amazon is more likely to be used by people with money to burn, people wealthier than the average WalMart customer. This will get those types into the store, and will certainly result in more purchases by those types. The long term viability will depend on Walmart making the store attractive to those types.
    • If I didn't blow my mod points, this would go up. Wal-Mart isn't doing this to be good guys, they want additional business.
      • by jewens (993139)
        I believe it is safe to assume that they (Walmart) also receives some form of direct compensation as well to host the lockers, either on a fixed monthly or per-use arrangement.
    • by Algae_94 (2017070)
      Do people not even read the summary any more? This is not about Amazon lockers in Wal-Mart stores. It is about Wal-Mart putting their own pickup lockers in Wal-Mart stores for purchases from Wal-Mart.com. It is directly competing against the Amazon lockers. It will in no way help bring Amazon customers into Wal-Mart.

      It will most likely cause Wal-Mart to reduce staffing even more and have even worse service, further driving away "those types".
  • They can barely keep their shelves stocked as it is. They should nail the basics before botching a line extension.
  • There are some people who cannot receive packages at work and have no one at home to sign. Not even their mom.
  • What would be nice would be to have lockers at airports. I live out in the Pacific and it would be convenient to have stuff sent to a locker at say Brisbane airport, where I pick it up for my last leg home.
  • Competition is healthy... Let's see if Walmart can make it happen..
  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @07:29PM (#43298005)
    Sounds like a handy way to pick up goods purchased fraudulently on a stolen card or paypal account. Walmart does accept paypal.
  • One thing my parents were spot on about was, "Be careful who you hang out with!"
  • Because dealing with the drecks of society waiting in the line at the "customer service" counter is just plain old gross. Honestly, a 500 pound woman in yoga pants that smells like parmesan cheese from 10 feet away is not something you want to wait behind.

  • This is all well and good, but it still means I have to go into a Walmart. Personally I would rather drag myself over broken glass than go there to get something. At least not without a tetanus shot.
  • Ever try to get ANYTHING from the back of the store or the desk to pick something up? IF, and that's a huge if, IF you can find a breathing human, they're all 'on break'. If you go out on the floor everyone is instructed to give the same answer to all questions "Yo, I jus started here I dun know". If you eventually find anyone in the bowels of the store who is standing behind some counter all they will do is push a few random keys, frown and give up. So if you think THESE drones are going to get your stuff

  • I'm always baffled in trying to understand why USPS (or others) simply leave the package at the doorstep. Is that a regulation or something? I mean, what type of parcels require signature upon receiving?

    In Brazil all parcels requiring signature cannot be left without a person taking responsibility for it and the post office is required to try three times (sometimes they just pretend they tried 3 times - yay for tracking) and after that they leave a notification that you now have to go the post office to p

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