Retailers like Walmart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. are investing heavily to make more products available for same-day store pickup, staffing the pickup counter with more workers and stocking inventory closer to those workers to shorten wait times, a key consumer gripe, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Pickup orders surged last holiday season and the retailer expects an increase this year, company executives said Wednesday.
Walmart said the volume of items ordered online and then picked up in stores the same day increases by five times during the holiday season, so it plans to make more items across categories including apparel, toys and seasonal decor available in that manner.
Walmart also said it will focus more on discounts and offering the lowest prices on items instead of “gimmicky” product deals, for a second year in a row, as it said their customers expect more consistent pricing.
Buy online and pick up in store has been a key offering from brick-and-mortar retailers, which use their store inventory to fulfill online orders the same day and compete with rival Amazon.com Inc’s fast delivery times.
“We want to lead on price and win the season on price,” Chief Merchandising Officer for Walmart’s US operations, Steve Bratspies, told reporters.
The retailer will also focus on making its store checkouts faster, Walmart Chief Operating Officer Judith McKenna said. Dedicated staff wearing yellow vests will help shoppers find open registers and the shortest lines, as well as grabbing items customers may have forgotten.