Denison shoppers will soon be able to get all their groceries from Walmart without ever having to get out of their cars.
Walmart announced the “grand opening” of its grocery pickup service at its Denison store at 401 N. U.S. Highway 75 will be held Monday at 5 p.m. with the service beginning Tuesday. Through the service, customers will be able to order groceries at walmart.com/grocery, service a time to pick them up and then a store employee will bring the items out to the customer’s car. Customers can currently reserve times to pick up groceries from 8 a.m. t0 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
In October, Sherman’s Planning & Zoning Commission approved a site plan for a 1,390-square-foot addition to the Walmart store at 401 E. U.S. Highway 82 for the grocery pickup service, but the company has not announced when the service will be offered in Sherman.
Walmart Director of Communications Anne Hatfield said the company is working to expand the service.
“We are in the process of rolling out online grocery pickup to hundreds of stores,” Hatfield said. “It’s just a matter of serving the stores as fast as we can.”
She said the company’s grocery pickup service was a convenience “customers love” as it saves them a lot of time by ordering their groceries online.
“Once they try the service, they absolutely love it,” Hatfield said. “As a mom of young children, I can tell you personally how much time it saves. You can go online and make your order anytime you want. Then you can decide what day you want to pick it up and then you pick up your groceries when it’s convenient for you.”
In addition to the convenience of the program, Hatfield explained it is also free to customers.
“We are the only retailer to offer this service for free,” Hatfield said. “And the prices online are the same as in the store, so there is no cost to it.”
Kroger began offering its online shopping program, Clicklist, at its Sherman location last year, but doesn’t currently offer the service in Denison.
Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman said last year that store associates, as the company calls its employees, go through an extensive, three-week training program to become “personal shoppers” as part of the grocery pickup service.
“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.
“It’s a way we really think is interesting that technology is enabling new jobs and new roles within our company,” Blakeman said, noting the program is quickly becoming popular with the company’s customers. “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.”
Blakeman said last year that the service 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.
“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.”