The Pine Bluff Walmart Supercenter cut the ribbon on its all-new pickup service station on Thursday morning, stepping up shoppers’ convenience experience and marking its territory in the e-commerce market.
The adjustment allows people to shop virtually hands-free.
As of today, Pine Bluff Walmart shoppers have access to all items sold in-store through the store’s mobile app or website. Items can be ordered and picked up at the pickup station at the 5501 S. Olive St. location during a time specified by the customer.
Apparel is excluded from the service.
“You walk in our store, you scan your barcode, it dispenses your item, and you’re out the door,” said Meghan Pennell, associate manager of e-commerce for the Pine Bluff store. “Convenient, it’s fast, and we got associates trained for any questions.”
The new pickup services also allow customers to fulfill their grocery needs with a click of a button. On the walmart.com/grocery mobile app, Walmart shoppers can order any item available in-store and have them bagged and loaded into their car without lifting a finger.
Grocery orders can be picked up the same day when ordered during the operating hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
“We’re expecting to start off with 50 orders, and progressing up to 20 orders per day in the next three months,” Pennell said in regards to the store’s goals for the new service.
Among the ceremony’s guests were the Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce Redcoats, who aided in the cutting of the ribbon. Alongside the Redcoats were employees of Walmart’s e-commerce department, who spent the last month working to put the new plans in action.
“We plan on taking over the e-commerce business,” Pennell said. “Bringing everything back to Pine Bluff.”
Paula Crafton of Pine Bluff said the new service will allow her to have a more pleasant shopping experience. She walks with a cane and often has trouble navigating in and out of the store with a basket and bags full of groceries.
“This is a Godsend for me,” she said. “It’s a wonderful thing for people like me who can’t get around that well. Some of the other stores will bag your groceries for you and take them to your car, but this way, I don’t even have to go down the aisles. It’s wonderful.”
White Hall resident Trudy Sanders had a more humorous take on the new service.
“Now I don’t have to worry about my kids screaming for candy when we pass by it in the store,” she said. “It really will be a time-saver for parents.”
Immediately after the cutting of the ribbon, customers had a chance to enter a raffle upon verifying that they had downloaded the new grocery pickup mobile app and set Pine Bluff as their home store.
The raffle winner would receive a brand new Ozark Trail High Performance Cooler in exchange for their support.
Customers were left to enjoy festive cupcakes and other refreshments while they shopped and registered to put Walmart’s new pickup services to use as early as tomorrow.
Also on Thursday, Walmart corporate offices announced the unveiling of a $50-a-month membership service that lets harried shoppers use text messages to order items to be home delivered. Jetblack marks the latest effort by the nation’s largest retailer to cater to higher-income shoppers. It’s being tested in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.
The service will offer same-day and next day delivery at no extra charge. It allows shoppers to order everything from birthday gifts to household essentials based on curated shopping recommendations.
The everyday items will be sourced from Walmart and Jet.com. For specialty items, Walmart is working with stores like Pottery Barn and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The service, which is currently invite-only, is being led by Rent the Runway visionary Jenny Fleiss.
Commercial Managing Editor John Worthen and the Associated Press contributed to this report.