Wal-Mart Stores Inc will test the use of lockers in its stores to hold goods ordered online until shoppers pick them up, Neil Ashe, chief executive of its e-commerce unit, said on Tuesday.
The test, starting this summer, is one of many steps the retailer is taking to link its growing e-commerce business with its thousands of stores around the world, Ashe told a group of reporters at the company's e-commerce media day in San Bruno, California.
Amazon.com Inc, which has no stores, is installing lockers in brick-and-mortar stores like Staples Inc to help customers store and pick up online orders securely.
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is trying to catch up with Amazon, the biggest online retailer. Wal-Mart hopes its network of physical stores, which number about 4,000 in the United States, will give it an edge as consumers increasingly use smart phones while they shop.
Wal-Mart is also competing against Amazon by increasing the number of products it has available for sale on its website.
Product assortment on Walmart.com grew 35 percent to 40 percent to 2 million items in 2012 and the company plans to double that this year, Kelly Thompson, a Wal-Mart merchandising executive said.