Walmart Launches Parcel Stations To Speed Up Deliveries

Walmart says its parcel stations act like 'mini post offices' to quickly transport more online orders to customers.

Walmart sign on carts in parking lot
(Image credit: Joe Buglewicz/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Walmart plans to add 40 parcel stations to its delivery hubs by year-end in an effort aimed at speeding up the time it takes for customers to receive online orders.

The parcel stations, some of which will arrive in time for the holiday shopping season, will be in addition to the retail giant's more than 4,000 stores that operate as delivery hubs that fulfill and deliver orders. 

Walmart said it plans to add more parcel stations, which will use Walmart's private fleet of delivery vehicles, to more locations next year.

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“Packages originate in our fulfillment centers and move to a sortation center or directly to stores, where they are then delivered to a customer’s home using our last-mile delivery network,” Jennifer McKeehan, senior vice president of Transportation and Delivery at Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “In many ways you can think of a parcel station like a mini post office that receives and delivers packages.”

'Sensory-friendly' shopping

The move follows the company's expansion earlier this month of its "sensory-friendly hours," which began as a pilot project that involved measures such as lowering the lights, turning off the radio and changing TV walls to static images. The program, aimed at shoppers with sensory disabilities, has been expanded to all Walmart U.S. and Puerto Rico stores and takes place daily from 8 am to 10 am local time.

The company's other recent announcements include an expansion in September of its express delivery program to the late-night hours at 4,000 stores. The program, which allows customers to place orders as late as 9:30 pm for express delivery by 10 pm, aims to deliver same-day orders within 30 to 90  minutes. 

Walmart also added two features — Live Shopper and Walmart+ InHome. With Live Shopper, customers are connected with their personal shoppers in real time to approve substitutions or add items to their orders. With Walmart+ InHome, Walmart+ members can have personal shoppers bring their grocery orders inside their homes and put them in the refrigerator, on their counters or in their garages. InHome will also pick up returns without the need to print labels or repack the items.

To get started, use the Walmart app or visit the website and choose between pickup and delivery, then select your preferred time slot.

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.