Home Depot is installing pickup lockers within its stores as part of an $11 billion, three-year investment into the future of the business, according to a Retail Dive.
The locker program was part of a limited test in 2016, but was expanded late last year, and will go national over the next few years, according to the company.
The locker compartments come in three sizes and can hold about 60% of the items offered on the their “Buy Online, Pickup In Store” program. Any items too large for the lockers can be picked up at the service desk. About 45% of Home Depot’s online orders can be picked up in-store. The lockers are a way to help streamline the process, allowing the customer to pick up their prepaid orders, avoiding lines or having to wait for assistance.
The pickup locker trend is one that is gaining a more substantial adoption, especially in the ‘bricks and clicks’ retail segment. Walmart, United Parcel Service and of course Amazon have all expanded their versions of the concept, and more than half (52%) of specialty retailers offer in-store pickup options to meet customer demand for speed and convenience, according to research from Astound Commerce. The lockers also allow customers to avoid shipping charges. This is especially important for a chain like home depot, where the convenience of ordering a variety of small parts online are less likely when shipping charges are factored in. Now the customer can fill his cart online, then pick up the completed order at his convenience.
According to Retail Dive, Home Depot’s first quarter e-commerce sales rose 20% this year, while Lowe’s said it saw comp sales growth of 20% online in its first quarter, or about 5% of sales.