As Wal-Mart Stores continues to explore ways to facilitate online pickup, the retailer this week said it was testing a massive storage locker at a store in Rogers, Ark., that can distribute packages to online shoppers in the manner of a vending machine.
The contraption known as a BOPUS (buy online pick up in store) machine was installed recently at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Ark., near its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. The machine allows for automated distribution of online orders and works in conjunction with a kiosk previously installed at the Rogers store where online shoppers can alert the company when they've arrived to retrieve orders made online. The newly installed machine allows for such shoppers to retrieve orders without the help of a store employee, potentially providing further convenience for the shopper and a more efficient solution for Walmart.
The machine is still in the testing phase in Rogers, as illustrated in the below demonstration video provided by Field Agent, a Fayetteville, Ark.-based mobile research firm.
A spokesman told SN Friday that Walmart was testing the device as a means of storing items ordered for pickup, and providing faster service to shoppers. " Our free pickup service is a popular way for people to save time and money. We know speed and convenience are important to our customers and we’re always looking for new ways to bring it to them. We are excited to be one of the first companies to test this new technology and are looking forward to hearing feedback from our customers and associates."
This story was updated with additional background and comment from a company spokesman.