The digital age has arrived at the Camby Walmart.
Shoppers can now order groceries online, either by phone or the Web, and it has resulted in new customers. Current customers, according to Assistant Manager Dennis Popp, who normally roam the aisles love the convenience and free service.
"That's the most important part the convenience," Popp said. "Being able to go online, order, and pick it up, sit in the car and wait for us to bring it to them."
Customers can visit WalMart.com/grocery, enter their zip code and browse the Walmart Grocery assortment online. During checkout, they pick a designated store and time slot to pick up their order.
Orders are filled by Walmart associates and employees. Customers receive a phone call when their order is ready. They drive to the Walmart to a designated pickup spot on the side of the store and call a phone number on a sign. A Walmart associate comes out with the order and personally loads it into a customer's car.
The only requirement is that the order must be at least $30. Same-day pickup is available, too. Orders placed by 1 a.m. are available for pickup at 8 a.m. and orders placed by 10 a.m. are available at 4 p.m. Pickups can be scheduled seven days per week and up to three weeks in advance.
The new program was put in place last week.
"The business has picked up quite well," Popp said. "We've seen a lot of folks who have already wanted to use the service again."
Store Manager Art Wooten said retail has changed "significantly" over the past 20 to 30 years with the influx of technology. Online shopping, he said, offers customers another avenue to shop.
"I think it's part of changing our business with the times," Wooten said. "People are looking for a more convenient way to shop.
It's so much more convenient."
Although Popp and Wooten don't foresee the grocery aisles ever disappearing due to the rise of the online service, Popp said "the sky is the limit."
"We want to keep growing it so it winds up overtaking the amount of grocery business we already do in the store," Popp said. "That would be a great goal. We're not going to get there right away but we will get there."
Popp and Wooten both said they have a strong customer base that loves coming into the store itself. They said customers love certain cashiers, as well as interacting with other residents.
"There's always a place for brick and mortar," Popp said. "It's all about having multiple options to meet different customers' needs."
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