Walmart Inc. continues to test technology innovations and services in a sampling of its stores around the country. Recently the retail giant announced initiatives that will bring new services to select stores and save shoppers time on pickup orders of general merchandise.
• CarSaver Expansion
Walmart said last week it plans to expand car-buying services to its customers in select areas with a program run through Miami-based CarSaver. The program was tested in 14 stores in the Miami market for the past year. The program, run on CarSaver’s digital automotive marketplace, will expand to 250 stores,
“CarSaver’s unique platform helps our customers understand the true cost of ownership, while also helping them save money with buying, financing, leasing and insuring a new or used vehicle,” said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of Walmart services and digital acceleration.
Under the program, customers use carsaver.com to find a vehicle by comparing cars and trucks on the site. Once customers find what they want, they are connected with an “express manager” who arranges for them to test drive or pick up their vehicle at a local certified dealership. CarSaver also plans to begin buying vehicles from customers through an instant cash offer form a larger network of certified dealerships who will bid on the vehicle.
Walmart said it plans to soon launch a vehicle purchase program for its U.S. employees. Ally Financial is offering gift card incentives to Walmart customers who finance through Ally using the CarSaver site. The CarSaver desks are located in stores in Arizona, Oklahoma City and Florida. Sam’s Club offers a similar service through TrueCar to its members in most states.
• Pet services
PetIQ, a pet medication and wellness company inked a deal with Walmart to open 20 veterinary clinics in Walmart stores.
“We are excited to announce this partnership with Walmart to open 20 veterinary clinics. The first two locations will open next week with all 20 locations to open over the next 90 days,” stated Cord Christensen, PetIQ’s Chairman and CEO. “I am incredibly proud of our team who in a very short period of time has leveraged our cross-functional capabilities to introduce our first VetIQ Petcare clinics. We are excited to provide pet parents and their pets a unique experience in conjunction with our retail partners.”
Walmart did not share location details. PetIQ said it plans to open veterinary services for pets in roughly 1,000 retail locations through various partners by 2023.
• Walmart expands in-store pickup towers
Walmart is adding online pickup towers to more than 500 stores in the coming months. The tests have gone well in markets like Northwest Arkansas. Walmart US CEO Greg Foran said customers using the pickup towers located in the front of stores for general merchandise online orders typically get their order in a less than a minute once they scan in the bar code from their phone.
The pickup towers stand about 16 feet tall and 8 feet wide and rapidly retrieve online orders shipped to stores for pickup.