Editor's note: This article has been updated to note that the Sherman Kroger location is already offering a similar service.
Sherman shoppers could soon get all their groceries from Walmart without ever having to step foot inside the store.
A Walmart spokesperson recently told the Herald Democrat the company is planning to implement its online grocery shopping program at its store at 401 E. U.S. Highway 82 in Sherman. The company had a request on the Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission’s August agenda for a 1,400-square-foot addition, but the project manager requested it be tabled before the commission could take any action on the item. Information provided to the city stated the planned addition is to be used for the company’s automated pickup delivery service.
“We still have the intention to move forward,” Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman said of the request to table the item. “We just needed to take a minute and have an extra look.”
Kroger began offering its online shopping program, Clicklist, at its Sherman location earlier this year.
Blakeman said she doesn’t have a timeline for when the Walmart plans to move forward with the addition but anticipates the request will be back on the commission’s agenda at a future meeting. Before it was tabled, Walmart’s request for site plan approval for the addition was on the commission’s consent agenda, which is made up of items considered routine and not in need of discussion.
“We’re still looking at exactly what it will look like in Sherman,” Blakeman said of the online grocery shopping program. “But for online grocery in general, it is a service that our customers absolutely love. It enables customers to save a ton of time by ordering their groceries online.”
In addition to the convenience of the program, Blakeman explained it is also free to customers.
“There is no charge for this service and groceries have no price markups,” she said. “So they are the same everyday low prices online that you find in the store.”
The new service could also mean some additional jobs at the Sherman Walmart. Blakeman explained store associates, as the company calls its employees, go through an extensive, three-week training program to become “personal shoppers.”
“They’re trained to pick the freshest fruits and veggies, the best cuts of meat for our online grocery customers,” Blakeman said. “And then once it’s time for that customer to arrive for their pickup time, they’ll even load those groceries right into the customer’s car. So they don’t even have to unbuckle their seat belt to complete their grocery shopping for the week. So it’s a very seamless experience for the customers.”
Blakeman said how employees are chosen for the personal shopper role varies by store as sometimes they are new hires and sometimes they’re employees who have been with the company for a while moving into the role.
“But you can think if it is an associate who is with us already, that position that they vacate will need to be refilled,” Blakeman said. “It’s a way we really think is interesting that technology is enabling new jobs and new roles within our company.”
The Walmart spokesperson said the program is quickly becoming popular with the company’s customers.
“We see them call it a game-changer,” Blakeman said. “You think about being able to trim down what can be a two-hour errand or chore to really make it last a couple of minutes. One of the most popular ordering times for customers is the evening, so you would think about that really busy family — maybe they put their kids down for bed and they’re able to knock out their grocery shopping from the comfort of their couch.”
When the program launches in Sherman, it will allow customers to pick up groceries as quickly as four hours after ordering, as long as the order is in by 1 p.m., and as long as seven days after the order is placed.
“So say your daughter has soccer practice and you want to pick it up after soccer practice at 5 p.m. two days later — absolutely, choose that time slot and will have it ready for you,” Blakeman said. “It’s a growth driver for our business from a business perspective. So we’re really excited about the prospects of the program.”