Walmart Takes Cue From Amazon, Will Test In-Store Lockers for Online Orders

Walmart hopes to put the hurt on Amazon by taking a page from its online rival and using in-store lockers to holder items ordered on the Internet. In doing so, customers will be able to get their hands on their purchased goods much faster than waiting for delivery.

The mega chain said it will put lockers in about a dozen U.S. stores this summer to hold goods until customers pick them up at their convenience, Reuters reports. It's the same thing Amazon has been experimenting with since 2011, with lockers installed in convenience stores, drug stores, and some Staples and RadioShack locations.

Walmart Truck
Image Source: Flickr (Walmart Corporate)

In addition to its upcoming locker service, Walmart is doubling the number of stores that can fulfill online orders, rolling out a service that will let shoppers pay for online orders in stores with cash, and will use stores as fulfillment centers to offer same-day or next-day delivery of online orders "at very lost cost."

All this is aimed at competing with Amazon and its Prime subscription service, which offers two-day shipping on many items for $79 per year (college students pay much less). Walmart has the reach to compete, as two-thirds of U.S. residents live within five miles of a Walmart store.