Drive-thru Walmart Pickup opens in former Whitney Bank, powered by online ordering

January 12th, 2018 by Paula Keller French

A drive-thru only Walmart Pickup is set to open in a former Whitney Bank in Metairie, LA, immediately outside New Orleans. It’s been a somewhat quiet effort that went largely unnoticed until the location appeared as an option on Walmart.com, stating it’s opening today, January 12, 2018, and as the sign finally went up on the building.

While many banks have been consolidating locations due to the prominence of online banking, former branches, which of course are conveniently located, present an interesting expansion opportunity for companies like Walmart. This is especially true for the former bank at this site – previously a Whitney Bank location, which is a casualty of the Hancock Whitney merger of 2011, which finally embraced a rebrand and consolidated 20+ locations.

The drive-thru pickup will be powered by online orders, where, according to a November 2017 Fox8 article, you’ll be able to choose from over 30,000 grocery and toiletry products.

In 2014, a Forbes article cited this concept as a “head scratcher.” Today, in 2018, this seems like an obvious move for a company competing with Amazon’s incredibly popular free 2-day Prime shipping.

Why do we care?

Well, companies like Amazon and Walmart set the standard for the convenience of both online and offline customer experience, to which small and medium sized businesses must pay attention and respond. Many consumers were formerly accustom to calling ahead to a local store or shop to reserve something, and then swing by and pick it up.

Today, most are looking online first for in-store availability. Stores have begun catering to this convenience to which we have all grown accustom to. A practical example of this comes fromĀ Home Malone, a local shop that carries only local artists’ work and goods, advertised an in-store pick up online option this year for the holidays as a way to compete with the ease of online ordering.

Look forward to a follow up post on ways small and medium sized businesses should be using Amazon and Walmart to improve their customer experience.