NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Online shopping is off to a strong start this holiday season, and big-box retailers such as Walmart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) want to make it even more convenient for people to pick up their gifts.
How do they plan to do that? By installing lockers and gated areas inside their stores.
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Walmart recently announced an expansion of its "Grab & Go" locker service in Canada to 33 locations from 10, or about 8% of its total store base in the country. A person who buys merchandise from Walmart Canada's Web store is notified by email when his item is available and the nearest locker to go to and collect the item. An access code consisting of six digits is punched into a keypad on a blue and yellow locker bearing the Walmart name, and away the shopper goes.
There is no additional cost to the consumer for the service; it simply replaces a trip to the human-operated service desk to pick up a product that was ordered online.
The company didn't respond to an inquiry on how many of its 4,987 stores in the U.S. have "Grab & Go" lockers. Walmart reportedly began to test the pickup service in the U.S. last year at some stores in the Washington, D.C., area.