retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The CityWire reports that the Bentonville, Arkansas, Planning Commission has approved - the story uses the phrase "rubber stamped" - Walmart's request for three waivers that it needs to build a drive-in grocery pickup depot that will be use/test in conjunction with its e-commerce initiatives.

The 15,000 square-foot retail warehouse facility will have 52 parking places — 33 for customers driving through to pick up grocery orders and 19 for employee parking: "According to the plan the consumers will drive up to the kiosk and get a parking slot number where they will park and wait on the delivery of their groceries. Early descriptions of the drive-in facility were Sonic-like, a closer examination of the plans look to be more like a cross between a Boomerang Car Wash and a Sonic. The consumer drives up to the kiosk similar to Boomerang and then instead of pulling through the carwash they drive into a parking space and wait on the delivery, said Jon Stanley, city planner."
KC's View:
Once again, this is about creating a path of least resistance between e-tailer and e-shopper. It will be very interesting to see if this delivery depot concept plays out … and how it affects how other companies react. Amazon already has its lockers, but I think there is a lot of potential here.