By LISA SHEPHERD – The grocery store chain Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Wednesday it is adding to its growing line of self-service checkout products to help customers get what they want at the store.
The move is a sign that Wal-Meister, the nation’s largest retailer, is shifting to a self-checkout model as its business and profit numbers fall amid falling sales and a weakening economy.
Walmart plans to offer checkout at some of its most popular retail locations, such as Walgreens and Target.
The company also plans to add more online ordering and delivery options to its store network.
The store-based checkout program will allow shoppers to order online or use a smartphone app to pay.
The company is also planning to add online ordering to its online shopping and grocery delivery offerings.
Wal-Mart is already expanding its grocery delivery services to include delivery in some cities.
The grocer has struggled with sluggish sales in recent years and has been struggling to compete with rival retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. and Kroger Co. While it reported a loss in its most recent quarter, Wal-Merces revenue rose 6% from a year ago to $3.3 billion.
That was well above analysts’ expectations and a far cry from the company’s losses of $1.9 billion a year earlier.
The profit rose by 9.7% from $1 billion a decade ago.
Walmarts stock, which has risen in the past two weeks amid expectations of an expanded self-pay checkout program, is up 6.7%.