Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Canada is launching new contactless pick-up lockers where customers can grab items they have purchased online.
The new lockers will be in 48 select Lowe’s stores by the end of April, with the plan to expand the concept to more stores in the future.
Installed near the entrance of select stores, pick-up lockers will be equipped with Bluetooth technology and a touchscreen where customers will have access to instructions on how to retrieve their online orders, and where they will scan the barcode that they received in their confirmation email. Customers will have up to seven days following the reception of that email to retrieve their purchases at their convenience.
Tony Cioffi, Senior Vice-President, Stores at Lowe’s Canada, said consumers have embraced online shopping in a big way this past year and the retailer felt it was important to provide them with a quick and easy way to pick up their orders.
“If they have a product that fits within the dimensions of the pick-up locker the customer could get the option of picking up that product in that locker without actually interfacing with anybody and in fact not really touching anything,” said Cioffi.
“We’re starting with rolling it out in 48 of our Lowe’s stores in April and then RONA is going to follow and Reno-Depot right after — 41 RONA’s and 15 Reno-Depot’s. In all it will be 104 stores which are going to have these lockers in the vestibule.
“That’s the first wave because we’re already having discussions about a next wave that’s going to come after. Our objective is we’re trying to create a consistent, seamless experience for our customers. So the more stores we can get this into the better it is obviously because it’s a great customer experience. It’s contactless and it’s efficient. Honestly, customers have been asking for this and with the ecomm business growing more and more obviously with everything that’s happened in the last year with COVID, it’s definitely something customers are excited about . . . Customers are looking for a seamless, omnichannel experience.”
Cioffi said another wave of 75 stores will take on the lockers, bringing the total in the future to 180 of the 236 corporate stores the retailer has in the country.
“We’re just going to continue to assess and the way we plan the rollout is it’s based on the volume of activity from weekly pickup activity in those stores,” he said. “We started with the Lowe’s 48 because they’re the ones that have the highest activity.”
Based in Boucherville, Quebec, Lowe’s Canadian business, together with its wholly-owned subsidiary RONA inc., operates or services some 470 corporate and independent affiliate dealer stores in a number of complementary formats under different banners, which include Lowe’s, RONA, Reno-Depot, and Dick’s Lumber. In Canada, they have more than 26,000 associates, in addition to approximately 5,000 employees in the stores of independent affiliate dealers operating under the RONA banner.
Early this year, Lowe’s Canada said it hopes to fill over 7,000 full-time and part-time positions in an extensive spring hiring campaign throughout its network of stores.
“Over the last year, we have seen a great deal of interest in home improvement among Canadians. More than ever, our customers are counting on us to help them make their home comfortable and safe, and our store associates play a key role in supporting them throughout their projects,” said Marc Macdonald, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources. “To meet the public’s increased demand and continue to offer the best service possible, we are looking for people who want to work for a top employer in a stimulating environment where they will be encouraged to harness their talents.”
Available positions range from Receiving Clerk and Sales Associate roles, to Sales Specialist, Administrative Support, and Merchandising roles.
Cioffi said the retailer is “super fortunate” to be an essential service in the current environment.
“We feel it’s a privilege. We take it very seriously. And yes we’ve been fortunate. Obviously people aren’t travelling. They’re staying home more and their home is becoming their office. It’s becoming everything to them. So people are investing in their home to expand the space that they’re living in by either building a home office or even spending time renovating their existing property because their disposable income is not being spent on travel and not as much in restaurants, etc,” he said.
“We’re fortunate in the home improvement industry that people are using some of that disposable income to spend on their home and obviously that benefits us because that’s obviously what we sell and the type of service that we provide. Business has been good.”
Cioffi said the retailer has already hired about 5,000 people in its spring hiring campaign.
“We continue to make sure that we get people, our associates, hired to help support us during these busy times,” he said.