NEW YORK — Hundreds of Wal-Mart stores are offering pickup service, and the company is testing delivery as well.
|Marc Lore, executive vice-president and c.e.o. of e-commerce U.S. for Wal-Mart
“I think we’re really well-positioned on fresh (food),” said Marc E. Lore, executive vice-president and chief executive officer of e-commerce U.S. for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., on June 7 at the Robert W. Baird Global Consumer, Technology & Services Conference in New York. “I mean, we’ve got over 700 stores now with same-day pickup of fresh, where we’ll pick the product for you and bring it out to the trunk of your car.”
More than 1,000 stores should have fresh pickup by the end of the year, he said.
“We’ll continue to roll out to more stores,” Mr. Lore said. “We’ve done the hard part in sort of building the picking operation and being able to bring it out to the car. The next step is really same-day delivery.”
He said Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart is testing same-day delivery in 10 stores now. The company in June 2016 announced plans for the delivery through services like Uber, Lyft and Deliv.
A unique advantage for Wal-Mart is having fresh and frozen food in more than 4,000 points of distribution in the United States, Mr. Lore said.
Virtual reality in the future might affect many Wal-Mart products, but virtual reality in the store might be more than 10 years away, he said. He gave an example of a customer being in the produce department and virtual reality taking that customer to an apple orchard.
“And there you are able to see the farm and able to see the people that are doing the growing and picking and ask them, ‘What’s special about these apples?’” Mr. Lore said.
Through virtual reality, the Wal-Mart customer could learn the apples’ special characteristics. Perhaps they are organic.“I think millennials will like and crave information,” Mr. Lore said. “They don’t want to just buy products. They want to know where they’re made, what they are made of, that they have a soul and a mission for being, and I think that comes to life with virtual reality.”