Pickup tower technology

From staff reports

STEUEBNVILLE — The Wal-Mart Supercenter at 100 Mall Drive on Tuesday became the fifth store in Ohio to debut the company’s Pickup Tower technology.

These 16-foot tall structures function like high-tech vending machines and can fulfill a customer’s online order in less than a minute.

To use the tower, customers choose from millions of items available on Wal-Mart.com and select the pickup option at checkout.

When the item arrives at the local store, an associate loads it into the tower and the customer retrieves it by scanning a bar code sent to his or her smartphone. The towers are the latest example of Wal-Mart’s commitment to digital acceleration and innovation, as well as convenience.

“The Pickup Tower pilot phase has been so successful Wal-Mart is expanding it to additional locations across the country – and we’re proud to bring it to Steubenville,” said George Tirch, the company’s market manager. “This technology is designed to give time back to our customers with a new shopping experience.

“Very simply put, you walk in, you have a code. You walk up to the machine, enter your information and it finds your packages. You just grab them out of the machine and walk out,” Tirch said.

Wal-Mart is investing around $6 billion this fiscal year in the U.S. in store growth, store remodels and other innovations.