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Walmart store pickup service debuts

Tripp Goldman’s grandma is sold on the new Walmart pickup service that debuted in Brookhaven Tuesday.

Melissa Richie made her order online, chose 9:30 a.m. to pickup her groceries then cruised her black Expedition into the designated parking spot to receive her purchases. She didn’t wait long.

“You check in on the app and it let’s them know where you are. It even asks for the color of your vehicle so they can find you faster,” she said.

When Richie pulled into her designated spot, a trio of store associates wearing yellow vests and big smiles burst through the bay doors pushing two carts of groceries. Within minutes, Dondrick Jones and James Wooley had loaded the dozens of bags of meat, cans and frozen foods into the back of the SUV. Vanessa Martinez gave Richie a welcome bag as one of the first customers of the service and explained that some of the items she’d selected weren’t available.

“If they’re out of something, they substitute with something else,” she said.

She was OK with that.

The best part of the experience for her was 11-month-old Tripp snoozing in his car seat behind her and not waking up at all. That would not have been the case if they’d gone into the store, she said. Walmart shopping trips with a baby are not smooth sailing.

“He’s protesting in the shopping cart,” she said.

Shoppers quickly filled up the 50 slots available for the service Tuesday and store manager Lee Hand said more slots will be made available as associates and customers get used to the process.

Fifteen parking spaces are designated for pickup and are clearly marked with orange signs in the parking lot to the side of the market. Pickup times are available hourly between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Same-day service is an option if time slots are available.

Pickup service is free. The minimum order online is $30.

“It’s just so much more convenient,” said Richie, a sixth-grade teacher at Lipsey Middle School.

She said she still might browse in the store “every once in a while,” but she’ll stick to the pickup service for groceries.

“We’ll see how it goes,” she said. “It should be fine.”

The debut of the service included the presentation of colors by the Brookhaven JROTC followed by the national anthem sang by from Becky Hall, Leonae Robbins, Holli Bunyard and Jeana DeLozier from Solid Rock Pentecostal Church of Brookhaven.

The Co-Lin Colettes and the Co-Lin percussion team performed.

Representatives from the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.