COTTONWOOD -- Go online, order your groceries, drive to Walmart, the employees put the groceries in your car, and you are headed home.
Sound simple? Walmart thinks so.
So starting next week, the Cottonwood Walmart will begin a new online-grocery shopping service where customers pay online and pick up groceries that are delivered right to your vehicle.
“April 5th is the first day, in-store, that we will are going to be actually be filling the orders,” an assistant manager for the online grocery program at the Cottonwood Walmart said.
This is a national Walmart program that is being phased-in at different stores and it is Cottonwood and Prescott’s turn, according to Walmart Manager Bob Wilkins. “We’re the first set of stores in this market to begin it.”
“Basically customers can go online and put in their order for groceries, anything that they want on the grocery-side, including produce or cold items,” the assistant manager said.
The Cottonwood Walmart has a team that will do the shopping for them and “they don’t even have to come in the store,” she added.
Customers will pull up in their vehicles at a predetermined time, call a store phone number when they drive up, and the team will bring the groceries right out to them, she said,
A large orange canopy has been constructed on the south side of the Cottonwood Walmart. It will cover vehicles that come to pick-up up groceries. All transactions will have to be prepaid online, so no cash is involved.
“I think it’s going to be successful because we are the only store in the Cottonwood, Sedona, Camp Verde area that offers it,” the assistant manager said.
It’s an advantage for mothers that don’t want to drive their kids to the store, customers who can’t come into the store, or people getting off of work.
The assistant manager pointed out that people can even put in their pre-paid orders a week in advance online. Wilkins said Walmart stores in Phoenix are already using the service and it’s very successful.
Wilkins uses the mom who has five kids including a baby seat in the car as an example of someone who may want to use the service: “They never have to get out. We come up to them. We load up everything for them,” he said.
And there will be the rush 5 p.m. when everyone is getting off work and people will stop by Walmart and pick up that night’s dinner, he added.
Customers in their vehicles get to inspect the groceries to make sure they are up to their satisfaction, and they can decline anything they don’t want, he said.
Vehicles are staggered in, so not many are people waiting at the same time, he added. There are time slots for the customers’ vehicles.
The new service is free and there is no extra expense to the customers, the assistant manager said.
And if you want more than groceries, such as a television or clothing or anything else Walmart sells at the Cottonwood store, you can now have that put in your car under this grocery program.
The assistant manager said as long as you order through the grocery app, then any Cottonwood Walmart store item will be brought out to your vehicle under the orange canopy.
Items ordered at the regular Walmart website will still have to be picked up at the store.
Saturday will be an in-store celebration with vendors at starting at 9 a.m. On Thursday, April 5, the day Walmart actually launches the service, the vice-mayor will be doing a ribbon cutting.
Interested customers can go to Walmart.com/grocery.