Canadian tire develops its e-commerce strategy and prepares a huge self-service pick-up tower in Canada – Canada's first, according to Click & Collect's deputy chairman.
"All the feedback from our customers in our pick-up shop was that the waiting time is too long to choose their orders," said Alma Obeid.
"The self-service tower really speeds up customer experience and reduces it to 20 to 30 seconds."
The towers were recently launched at selected locations in Canada: Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Saskatoon.
They're like a big slot machine. Customers enter a PIN or QR code, the device reads it, a window opens, and the package comes out.
At a height of 16.5 feet, the tower has up to 250 orders.
"We give them comfort where they want," Obeid said, "and give them the opportunity to shop as they want and when they want."
Like many other dealers, Canadian tire says that e-commerce is a big part of its business – possibly the largest growing segment.
So after much research and money – the amount was not disclosed – the company came with towers.
Experts at the University of Alberta's Retail School said technology has dramatically changed the industry as traders realize that time is money.
"Anything that can do something more effective, faster or better than previous systems will be accepted," said John Pracejus.
Pracejus is also not very interested in the possible automation of job losses that the sector can bring.
"I think a lot of things that are automated are really commonplace," he said.
"I think the work that remains will be better and will certainly require skills."
The Canadian tire said that these towers would not result in job losses, adding that they still needed to do the job.
"The store's employees are still picking things out of the floor, they're still packing in. The employees are the one who puts them here," Obeid said.
"What he does is to enable our shop staff to provide our customers with better customer service."
A vendor may be the first of the gates when it comes to these towers, but others like Walmart are close.
The company has announced plans for a similar tower in Canada and is reportedly testing several of them in Ontario.
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