Wal-Mart launched on Tuesday its Site to Store program, in which Walmart.com customers can opt for free shipping--provided they are willing to pick up their order at a Wal-Mart store instead of having it sent to their home. The items ordered are shipped within 7 to 10 business days to a Wal-Mart store, and then an e-mail is sent to the buyer that alerts him or her to pick up the order.
Wal-Mart has been testing the program since 2004 in a small number of stores. Although not all of the company's products will be eligible for free shipping, a statement touts that "tens of thousands" of items--some of which are not normally available in Wal-Mart's stores--will be covered. The initial phase of the Site to Store program covers 750 Wal-Mart's stores in all of New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri; as well as parts of Texas, California, Colorado, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi. The company expects to have all 3,300 of its U.S. stores covered under Site to Store late this summer.