ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Walmart is shuttering its last two remaining pickup-and-delivery stores, reports Business Insider. The stores are located in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Lincolnwood, Illinois, and both will close on February 17.
The locations offered only pickup and delivery for groceries and other select items, such as paper towels and baby formula, and were not open to customer foot traffic. At one time, Walmart had three of these location types, with another in Metairie, Louisiana, but Walmart closed that store last year.
"We are grateful to the customers who have given us the privilege of serving them at our pickup-and-delivery locations," Walmart spokeswoman Felicia McCranie told Insider. "We look forward to serving them at our other stores in the surrounding communities and on walmart.com."
The location in Bentonville was 15,000 square feet and could serve 19 cars at a time, while the location in Illinois was 42,000 square feet. Customers would park at an assigned parking space after they checked in at a touchscreen kiosk. A store associate would bring the order to the vehicles, placing the items in the backseat or trunk. Product prices were the same as at other Walmart stores.
Insider reports that Walmart’s decision to close these locations comes as the retailer’s e-commerce growth has slowed drastically. While Walmart saw 16% year-over-year growth for Walmart U.S. e-commerce sales in the most recent quarter ended November 2022, in the second quarter of 2020, Walmart U.S. e-commerce sales increased 97% year over year.
Walmart recently opened a new e-commerce site for small- and medium-sized businesses, directly rivaling Amazon. Walmart Business offers 100,000 products, including office supplies, office furniture, food and beverage items, electronics, and items for restrooms and facilities.
Additionally, Walmart scaled up its InHome service last year, which transports customers’ purchases straight into their kitchen or garage refrigerator, as well as picking up Walmart.com returns. The service is now available to 30 million U.S. homes, up from six million, and is hiring 3,000 additional associates to captain an electric fleet of delivery vehicles.
Target recently opened three additional delivery hubs to fulfill online orders faster and at a lower cost. The delivery hubs are called sortation centers, and the locations receive already-boxed online orders from area stores twice a day. Packages are sorted by town and/or neighborhood so that more can be delivered at a time.
Seeing that consumers are demanding faster service and a reduced-friction way to get their essential goods, grocery stores are offering fast delivery and pick up on certain convenience items in order to gain more market share and win smaller basket trips from consumers who shop convenience stores.
Learn what c-stores are doing to make delivery work for their businesses in “Delivering Convenience” in the December 2021 issue of NACS Magazine.