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Business Insider reports that Walmart is in the process of rolling out more of the self-service kiosks - dubbed Pickup Towers - that allow customers to retrieve items they have ordered online without having to deal with any of the retailer's employees.

The first version was tested in a Bentonville, Arkansas, store last year, and Walmart reportedly has installed the towers in 20 stores, with plans to add another 80 stores in the near future. While the existing towers are said to be for nonfood, the story also says that Walmart "recently started testing a similar concept for online grocery orders."

The kiosks are about 16 feet tall and eight feet wide, and, according to the story, "are typically near store entrances. To use the tower, customers scan a barcode on their purchase receipt. Within 45 seconds, a door on the machine opens, and the items appear on a conveyer belt." Walmart believes that the concept is "more versatile than pickup lockers — which Walmart has also tested — because it can adjust the size of the compartments where packages are kept."
KC's View:
I have to say that while the towers seem a little cumbersome, there is an advantage in being able to handle packages of all sizes. There are some restrictions with the Amazon lockers ... and depending on the circumstances, that can be annoying to the shopper.

On the other hand, Amazon can put those lockers in a lot of places where those towers can't go.