Time to step out of my comfort zone…
About half of the time, I do grocery shopping at the world’s biggest retailer that nobody shops at. I’m sticking my toe into new territory.
Walmart in my area is offering grocery pickup. They are talking about adding delivery via uber/lyft, but that isn’t here yet. If this works as advertised, I might join the ranks of the people freed from car ownership.
The basic concept is that a Walmart employee does the shopping for you. You use their web site to select from products available in the store. It is very easy to use and seems to be very complete in terms of what is available. Prices reflect the current price if you shopped yourself. There is no charge and no tipping. I don’t understand the business model at all. Groceries are a very low margin business.
So I completed my order for pickup on Monday afternoon in a one hour window. From the video, it looks like the shopper has a portable bar code reader and scans each item, so the result should be accurate. I can indicate for each item whether substitutions are OK.
My assumption is they take the frozen and refrigerated items to a holding area in the store. 15 minutes before my 1 hour window, they will call to remind me. They request that I call them back about 10 minutes before I plan to arrive.
Upon arriving at the store there will be a special parking area. When I arrive, I call them to let them know I’m ready. Spots are numbered (I’m in spot #2!). My stuff will come to me, the employee will put the groceries in the trunk, and give me a receipt to sign. They have my credit card on file, so nothing more to do. No tipping. I suspect the picking is done in the middle of the night when the store is empty.
If this works, it solves a number of problems:
– shopping for groceries is about the extent of my stamina. 20 minutes and I’m out of steam
– no waiting / standing in line for checkout
– people in the store don’t have to be annoyed by my appearance and vice versa
– no impulse buying
– no mistakes (fingers crossed)
– might be able to give up car and related expenses and annoyances
– frozen foods should not be thawing at all
– no shopping carts, dodging cars in the parking lot, etc
The only obvious issue is this service is at a different Walmart than my normal choice. It’s about six miles away compared to two miles.
I’m aware of Amazon Prime and Peapod, but this seems more reasonable. I’ll give you a report on Monday. Any questions? Anyone already using this?