Walmart is beginning to add parcel stations to its stores that serve as delivery hubs.
The retailer plans to have over 40 parcel stations in stores by the end of the year, with many operating in time for the holiday season, Walmart said in a Tuesday (Nov. 21) press release. The company also has plans to expand this capability to other locations in the coming year.
In operation, parcel stations work “like a mini post office that receives and delivers packages,” Jennifer McKeehan, senior vice president, transportation and delivery at Walmart U.S., said in the release.
“Parcel stations help us move goods even faster to a customer’s home by using our Private Fleet to transport more online orders,” McKeehan said. “Packages originate in our fulfillment centers and move to a sortation center or directly to stores, where they are then delivered to a customer’s home using our last-mile delivery network.”
This move not only benefits customers but also associates and the overall business, according to the release.
For customers, the introduction of parcel stations means they have more flexibility in placing online orders, the release said. With a greater assortment of merchandise available for next-day delivery, customers can shop at their convenience and receive their purchases quickly.
For associates, the implementation of parcel stations streamlines the process of distributing online orders from Walmart stores, per the release. This makes it easier and more efficient for associates to fulfill orders, ensuring that customers receive their purchases in a timely manner.
By improving the distribution process, Walmart is able to build density and lower the cost of delivery, leading to savings that can be reinvested back into enhancing the customer experience, according to the release.
This expansion aims to better serve customers with speed, accuracy and reliability, the release said. It will also help Walmart support other businesses through its Walmart GoLocal initiative.
“Today, customers value home delivery as their preferred online fulfillment method,” McKeehan said in the release. “Parcel stations are yet another step we’re taking to give them what they want and more, and we’re looking forward to hearing their feedback.”
In-store fulfilled pickup and delivery drove Walmart’s 24% eCommerce surge in the third quarter, the retailer said Thursday (Nov. 16) during its quarterly earnings call.