When it comes to ramping up pick-up services, Walmart Inc. (WMT - Free Report) leaves no stone unturned to travel that extra mile. This is evident from the company’s recent stride to expand pickup tower facilities to additional brick-and-mortar stores. The company plans to install giant pick-up kiosks in 500 additional stores by the end of 2018, which will lead to the availability of such services in 700 stores. The new towers will be equipped with extra features such as pickup lockers.
With Walmart’s pickup towers, consumers can collect their online orders from stores in less than a minute. This will allow them to save cost of shipping and time. Management states that consumers’ response toward pickup towers was quite overwhelming since its introduction in 2016, which led the company to expand such facilities to more stores. Moreover, adhering to popular demand, this recent expansion will include the added feature of pickup lockers, where consumers can collect bigger-sized merchandise as well.
Well, such efforts offer better competing grounds for Walmart against online behemoth Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , which has been expanding rapidly in the online delivery space. Since Walmart has a strong brick-and-mortar presence, its pickup towers are likely to strengthen its position in the Amazon-dominated retail space. Further, Walmart plans to install pickup towers equipped with refrigeration systems for delivering grocery and perishable items. Like Walmart, companies such as Target (TGT - Free Report) and Kroger (KR - Free Report) , have also been undertaking several initiatives to improve delivery services. This indicates that companies are rapidly transforming their operating models to suit the needs of consumers’ tech-driven lifestyle.
In addition to providing seamless deliveries to consumers, cost savings are also a vital incentive, driving Walmart to strengthen pickup in-store services. Well, the company incurs lower charges when it ships items to its stores compared with transporting them to consumers’ residences. Such savings enable the company to provide additional discounts to consumers.
Walmart’s zealous initiatives in the delivery services realm has been quite a treat for consumers seeking fast and easy shopping facilities. Earlier efforts in this respect include acquisition of Parcel, Inc., which is a last-mile delivery service and specializes in same-day delivery for perishable and non-perishable products. Other than this, the company’s Walmart Pickup program enables customers to place orders online and then pick them up at a store for free. In earlier developments, Walmart partnered with ride hailing services Uber and Lyft for speedy online grocery deliveries. Moreover, Walmart’s online ordering process are backed by efficient payment systems like Walmart2World.
Indeed, such laudable efforts have placed this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company in investors’ good books. Evidently, the company’s shares have gained 17.5% in the past year, while the industry rallied 13.5%. Clearly, Walmart’s relentless endeavors in its quest to build a robust omnichannel empire keeps stakeholders excited and boosts their optimism. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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