Walmart Joins Free Ship-To-Stores Trend

Walmart announced Thursday it has introduced a program called "Pick Up Today." Through this program, you can order an item via the Internet and pick it up a few hours later from your nearest store. All 3,600 Walmart stores should offer the deal by June. The move could be a response to lagging sales, as the world's largest retailer competes with other major merchants like Target, Costco and Best Buy.

The program is expected to increase store visits -- as it has for other retailers -- usually leading to more sales. Best Buy, for example, offers both store pickup and ship-to-store, in which items are sent directly to a customer's local store for pickup.

The "Pick Up Today" program isn't revolutionary. Other stores offer the deal but Walmart is the largest merchant to make the move, setting the bar for its competitors.

Here are the details for five merchants that offer similar programs.

1. Walmart
Walmart offers tens of thousands of products online that qualify for "Site to Store" in the continental United States. This even includes many heavy items, like furniture and exercise equipment. Some of these items are not regularly available in Walmart stores. Orders typically take 1-2 days to process and usually arrive at the store 7-10 business days later.

2. L.L. Bean
Most in-stock items can be shipped free to the nearest L.L. Bean outlet within roughly seven days.The retailer doesn't provide shipping to L.L. Bean Outlet Stores.

3. REI
Your REI purchase is not eligible for the store pickup program if the option doesn't appear in your shopping cart at checkout.

4. Best Buy
Some items are eligible for immediate pickup, while others may be available for free ship-to-shore. You'll see the pickup date when you reach checkout. Best Buy also offers a "Friends and Family Pickup" that allows you to place an order and have someone else pick it up.

5. Cabela's
The sports giant offers free shipping with in-store pickup of almost any product. In-stock items may take 5-8 business days for delivery. Ineligible Cabela's products include items shipped directly from the manufacturer, hazardous products and purchases made with gift certificates and gift cards.

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