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Business Insider reports that Walmart is testing a new version of an automated kiosk installation that will allow people to easily pick up grocery orders that have been placed online.

According to the story, the new version is being tested at a supercenter in Sherman, Texas. “The kiosks allow customers to pick up online grocery orders within seconds, without interacting with employees.

“Here's how it works: customers purchase and pay for groceries online, then Walmart employees pick and pack their orders and store them in bins in the 11-foot-by-127-foot kiosk, which is attached to the Sherman store.

“The kiosk has refrigerators and freezers inside that keep the groceries fresh. When customers arrive to pick up their orders, they walk up to the kiosk and scan a barcode located on the ‘order ready’ email from Walmart. Their groceries will appear within one minute, bagged and ready to load into their cars.

“The kiosk retrieves customers' grocery orders within a matter of seconds.

“Walmart tested its first automated grocery kiosk in Oklahoma last year. The new version is bigger and can serve five customers simultaneously.”
KC's View:
I think that it would make a lot of sense for retailers with vision and a little bit of investment capital to start to develop pickup installations that also have a vending component … my feeling is that anything you can do to make your stores more convenient and differentiated is a good thing.