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Walmart tests lockers in D.C. area expanding e-commerce platform


BENTONVILLE, Ark. — During Thursday's second-quarter conference call, Walmart discussed the company's efforts to expand its e-commerce platform as it recently launched a locker test for site-to-store in Washington, D.C., area.

“While this test is still in the early stages, the initial read on customer satisfaction and acceptance is very encouraging, with 90% of the customers who have used the service providing positive feedback,” said Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S. also reported that Walmart acknowledged its business has grown steadily as more items being ordered online and shipped to customers' homes are being fulfilled through the "Ship from Store" program. The company is now using 35 stores as additional hubs in its fulfillment network, according to Neil Ashe, CEO of Walmart global e-commerce. The company hopes these additional stores, particularly its entry into D.C., will give it the leverage it needs to enter into those hard-to-reach markets such as D.C. and New York City.

Additionally, the company's "Pick Up Today" program is expanding with three times the amount of items offered since the beginning of the year. "Pick Up Today" allows customers to purchase items online and pick it up in a store that same day.

The growth in e-commerce is apparent outside the company. As Retailing Today reported, Walmart hired 200 employees at its San Bruno, Calif., headquarters.

Walmart recently opened one store in Washington, D.C., with plans to open two more stores in the coming weeks. The company could open an additional three stores, but is awaiting a decision from D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray on whether he will sign or veto a city council wage law that will require big box retailers to pay a minimum $12 an hour in wages and benefits.

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