Walmart is doing two tests which are aimed to make it a less daunting experience to go in one of their stores.
The first test being done in just a few markets involves their ship-to-store option that's available online at Walmart.com. What they're doing is testing a digital locker kind of idea. When your item is in, you get an email that your stuff is in locker 6 and here's the code to unlock. You walk in, get stuff and you're gone. No lines to wait in, no need for anybody to help you at the desk. Love it. Very smart.
The second test involves smartphone apps that allow you to avoid lines in an even more radical way. The apps allow you to barcode scan each item as you put it in a cart. It gives you a running total as you shop and then, in the front of the store, you go to a special register that reads your phone. In theory, it should print out a paper receipt and you pay and go. No lines, no mess, no fuss!
We'll see how these experiments pan out.