Report: Walmart removing automated pick-up towers from its stores

Marianne Wilson

Walmart is continuing to move away from in-store automated technology.

The retail giant is getting rid of the massive automated pick-up towers for online orders that it placed in more than 1,500 stores, reported the Wall Street Journal. The towers, a modern version of a vending machine, were typically located upfront in the store and intended as a convenient option for customers to pick up their online orders.

Walmart is removing about 300 of the towers and about 1,300 are being “hibernated,” according to the Journal. The move comes as the pandemic has put a growing emphasis on curbside pickup services at Walmart and other retailers. 

“The customer told us they want one pickup spot, and they want that pickup spot to be outside,” a Walmart spokeswoman told the Journal. 

The towers are not the only in-store automated technology that Walmart appears to moving away from. In November, Walmart ended its push to use roving robots in store aisles to keep track of its inventory. The retailer terminated its contract with robotics company Bossa Nova Robotics, which had about 500 shelf-scanning bots in Walmart stores at the time. 

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds