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Walmart is searching for ways it can separate itself from online retail competitors like Amazon. One advantage the company has is its retail locations — nearly 4,000 of them. According to Reuters, Walmart will soon begin installing lockers in some of its stores and will allow customers who place online orders at Walmart.com to pick up their items from those lockers.

The move isn’t a great departure from what Walmart does currently. Walmart already offers in-store pickup for many products on its website. If the product isn’t in stock at a store, it can be ordered and shipped to that location, where it is held until the customer picks it up.

amazon-locker
Walmart will test out lockers in its retail stores similar to the ones Amazon offers in some Staples locations.

Adding lockers to the equation does add two benefits, however: it eliminates the need to stand in line at a customer service desk, and it allows the order to be picked up outside of the 10am-10pm pickup window. For those who can’t make it to a Walmart within that time frame, or those who don’t want items delivered to their home, the pickup lockers will serve a very useful purpose.

Walmart’s locker idea is actually one that Amazon has been implementing in some Staples locations. Customers can elect to have their Amazon shipments sent to Staples, where it is placed in a secure locker until the customer comes to retrieve it. It’s a way to make online buyers feel more safe about where their purchases are sitting during the day, and it adds a little bit of convenience if a carrier refuses to leave deliveries at someone’s home without a signature.

The test locations for Walmart’s locker trial are unknown at this time, and there’s no word on how long this trial will last or whether or not it could expand into more stores if successful. We’ll stay on top of things and update as we learn more.

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