business news in context, analysis with attitude

Mashable reports that Walmart is expanding its concept of a "giant self-serve kiosk tower" where consumers can pick up their online orders to more than a dozen locations.

According to the story, "The big-box store is rolling out a giant self-serve kiosk tower for online orders to more than a dozen locations. Customers simply arrange their shipment ahead of time, visit the store, and access their order via a barcode scanner on the side of the machine. Each package is preloaded by workers ... The massive orange towers stand 16 feet tall by 8 feet wide and deliver items through a conveyor belt inside the contraption. Walmart began testing the system last fall in an Arkansas store near its headquarters."

The move is part of Walmart's overall effort to adapt more fluidly to the e-commerce world. "Other experiments," the story says, "that cater to these strengths include a program in which store workers deliver packages on the way home from work and a partnership with Uber for short-distance delivery orders."
KC's View:
I continue to believe that if Walmart really wants to serve notice that it is ready and able to compete with Amazon, it should announce that within a matter of months it will have click-and-collect depots installed in thousands of stores. It would be what Tom Furphy and I recently referred to as "a big swing," the kind of thing that has both symbolic appeal and practical applications.

Testing a system over months and expanding the test slowly won't cut it.