Need to Know
- Lowe’s plans to install self-service pickup lockers at all of its 1,700 U.S. stores by March 2021.
- Customers will be able to purchase items online and collect them from storage lockers by scanning a barcode displayed on their smartphone.
- The lockers come at a time when online shopping is at an all-time high—Lowe’s reported a 135% spike in digital sales during its latest quarter.
- Lowe’s has stated that stores will have same-day pickup lockers by Thanksgiving.
American home improvement chain Lowe’s is increasing its commitment to frictionless shopping, announcing plans to install self-service pickup lockers in all of its 1,700 U.S. stores by early next year.
Lowe’s has already made substantial improvements to its digital infrastructure, implementing curbside pickup early in the pandemic to cater to changing shopping habits, as customers gravitated towards contactless and digital-first retail experiences. Now, the chain is taking it a step further with pickup lockers: customers can still purchase their items online or using the Lowe’s mobile app, and an in-store customer associate will be alerted to their purchase. Instead of making it available for curbside pickup, the store associate will place it in a pickup locker that is equipped with a barcode scanner. The customer will be alerted when the item is ready to be picked up and will be provided with a unique barcode to scan on the locker their item is in.
“Our number one priority is making sure we are keeping things safe for our associates and customers while continuing to provide additional options to make it even easier to shop with us,” Joe McFarland, Lowe’s EVP of stores, said in a statement. “With more than 60% of online orders picked up in our stores, this gives our customers one more option and the added convenience and flexibility to control how and when they get that order. This is a significant step in our relentless efforts to create a fast and frictionless shopping experience for today’s time-pressed customers.”
Lowe’s has been working to improve its digital retail experience for customers throughout the pandemic. In addition to the early implementation of curbside pickup, the chain migrated Lowes.com onto the cloud in the spring and launched a video chat tool for virtual repair consultations in June. Thanks to these efforts—and to stay-at-home orders that have shifted consumer spending away from categories such as clothing and towards home improvement and decor—Lowe’s reported a 135% year-over-year spike in digital sales for Q2 of 2020.
While pickup lockers are a new move for Lowe’s, their implementation is already widespread among e-commerce industry leaders. Amazon, for instance, currently has more than 2,000 pickup tower locations in the U.S., while Walmart has roughly 700.
The Lowe’s self-service lockers are currently available at store locations in Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The chain plans to roll out lockers in most stores by Thanksgiving of this year and says it will have pick-up lockers in all of its 1,700 U.S. stores by March 2021.