Berks Walmart towers over others in Pa. with new service

 

A Walmart store in Berks County is the first in Pennsylvania to debut a new service for the retailer's online shoppers.

A bright orange self-service kiosk now towers 16 feet above the checkout registers inside the Walmart on the Allentown Pike in Muhlenberg Township.

The "pickup tower," as it's called by Walmart, saves customers time and money by allowing them to choose from millions of items on Walmart.com, pay for their order online, and then pick it up at the in-store kiosk, according to the Arkansas-based retailer.

"Much like a high-tech vending machine for your online orders, this feature... allows you to pick up items in less than a minute by scanning a bar code sent to your smartphone," said Mark Ibbotson, Walmart's executive vice president of central operations for the U.S.

The tower is among about only 40 that have been rolled out in key markets across the country, so far.

"The pilot phase has been so successful we're expanding it to other locations across the country," Ibbotson said. "Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, and we serve more than 140 million customers a week, which gives us a unique opportunity to make every day a little easier for busy families,"

There is no additional cost to use the pickup service.

Business Insider reported Sunday that it tried a pickup tower at a store in Virginia, and it "shattered our expectations," adding that "we were shocked by how easy and quick it was to use."

Walmart has nearly 4,700 stores in the United States, including 138 stores in Pennsylvania and six in Berks County. The new tower at Muhlenberg coincides with a remodel of the store.