Walmart is adding more stores, in dozens of locations, that double as local fulfillment centers for delivery and pickup orders, the company said Wednesday. A local fulfillment center is a small warehouse, stocked with frequently purchased items, that's housed inside or attached to a Walmart store.
The centers are designed to offer customers more availability, more efficiency and faster order fulfillment. For instance, Walmart says it's implementing speedy, automated bots to grab items in the warehouse, to avoid the time an associate would spend walking through the store to fulfill an order. Don't worry, though: Human personal shoppers will take care of your fresh produce, meat, seafood and larger general merchandise from the sales floor.
After the order is assembled, the system stores it until pickup time. Walmart says the whole process takes just a few minutes after the order is first placed. Some stores will also get automated pickup points, where customers can drive up, scan a code, get their order and leave. Think drive-thru groceries.