October 1, 2010, 10:59 AM

Walmart.com tests free shipping to FedEx locations in Boston and LA

Avoiding the political opposition it has faced while trying to enter major cities, the big retailer is expanding in two major markets by letting shoppers order online and pick up at FedEx Office locations.

Allison Enright

Editor

Wal-mart Stores Inc., which has faced political opposition as it’s sought to break into big cities in recent years, is expanding its presence in two major markets by allowing shoppers to make purchases at Walmart.com and pick them up at FedEx Corp. locations.

Walmart.com has begun offering free delivery of online orders to FedEx Office locations in Los Angeles, where Wal-Mart operates two stores, and Boston, where there are no Wal-Mart outlets.

It’s a variant of Walmart.com’s Site to Store service that lets shoppers buy online and pick up in a nearby Wal-Mart store. The new service lets customers in the two test cities pick up orders at selected FedEx Office facilities. FedEx Office is the division of FedEx formerly known as Kinko’s that offers shipping and copying services.

The retailer began testing the delivery option at 26 Los Angeles FedEx Office locations in June and at 18 locations in Boston in August. “As always, we continue to test and provide innovative ways to provide more savings for our customers online at Walmart.com,” says a Wal-Mart spokesman. He declined to comment on any plans to expand the service to other cities.

Orders shipped to a FedEx Office location will arrive in seven to 10 days, plus processing time, according to information posted on Walmart.com. FedEx Office will hold packages for five business days. The retailer says most, but not all, items that can be shipped via the Site to Store program can be sent to a participating FedEx Office location.

Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke last year called the company’s expansion into urban areas a priority. The expansion of the Site to Store service will give consumers in two big cities a taste of the Wal-Mart shopping experience.

allison@verticalwebmedia.com

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