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Local Walmart's tech keeps up with customers' lifestyles

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Posted at 7:31 PM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 23:49:26-05

Some of the most innovative retail services are now available to shoppers at the Walmart store in Flour Bluff, and KRIS 6 News recently was invited to come by and take a look.

The Walmart Superstore on Waldron Road is one of more that 600 across the nation that's now equipped with a pickup tower.

Think of it as a big, orange vending machine that can deliver more than 6 million items from right to your local Walmart store.

It's simple to use: You order an item on the website, select the store you want it delivered to and it ships free of charge.

"Once the item actually comes in the customer will get an email," said Walmart coach Juan Garza. "All the customer has to do is show up. It's available 24 hours a day. They scan the bar code in the email and then from there the order is dispensed in seconds."

Larger, bulkier items --- too large for the tower tray -- are placed lockers.

"So when a customer comes, they'll check in exactly the same way they would with the tower, but the locker itself will open up," he said.

Vernal Sutherland is visiting Atlanta. He ordered an item online, and had it delivered in Flour Bluff.

"That was convenient right there," he said. "I mean, after you go through the ins and outs of how to do it, I mean perfect; came right to you, no problem."

Store manager Lupe Perez, a 29-year veteran of Walmart, is excited about the new phone app and how it will help customers.

"So everyone should have the Wal-mart app," he said. "It'll make it very easy to find any item. You can go to the map -- this is the actual map of our store -- we can actually do an item . . . if you want to search for ketchup. . . . just type it in. It will show you where it is, and give you a marker number like this to take you right to it. And if an item is out of stock, you can order it and have it shipped to the store. You can order it here, we can help you order it online."

Another new customer service is called "check out with me."

If you're in a hurry, store associates equipped with cellular devices and bluetooth printers can check you out anywhere on the sales floor and provide a receipt via print, text, or email.

And that's not all.

Plans are in the works for "grocery pickups," and even robots to track inventory and help keep store shelves well-stocked.