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Walmart rolling out high-tech ‘pick-up towers’

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Walmart is expanding its modern-day — and oversized — version of a vending machine — but the new model will come with an addition.

The discounter plans to add more than 500 additional “pickup towers” to stores across the country, bringing the total to more than 700 by the end of the year. Walmart said the response to the existing 200 kiosks has been “overwhelming positive,” with more than half a million orders retrieved since the chain first introduced them.

Based on customer feedback, the new towers will come with pickup lockers, which will allow customers to retrieve large items, such as TVs.

“Our customers have been clear: They love the Pickup Tower. But, they also told us they wanted the ability to retrieve larger items the same way,” stated Walmart in a blog on its website.

The pickup tower — which stands 16 ft. tall and about 8 ft. wide — greets shoppers at store entrances. After placing their online order, customers receive a barcode on their digital receipt. Upon entering the store, customers scan their barcode via their smartphone on the kiosk’s digital scanner to retrieve their order. The process takes less than a minute.

With the expansion, pickup towers will be available to nearly 40% of the U.S. population, Walmart said.
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