Four area Wal-Mart stores to offer curbside pickup Local shoppers can place orders online to use service

Wal-Mart to offer free curbside pickup service of groceries at four Charleston-area stores, starting April 20.

Shoppers who like having groceries delivered to their trunk without having to leave the car will soon have that option at select Wal-Mart stores in Charleston.

The world’s largest retailer is expanding free curbside pickup of groceries into eight new cities later this month, including four stores in Charleston.

The Charleston area Wal-Mart stores adding the service on April 20 include supercenters at 605 St. James Ave. in Goose Creek, 3000 Proprietors Place in Mount Pleasant, and 4920 Centre Pointe Drive and 9880 Dorchester Road, both in North Charleston.

The expansion by the Arkansas-based retailer will increase the number of stores with the service by a third to about 200 and widen its footprint to 30 cities. A plan to add more cities is in the works.

“We’ll have a steady cadence of more expansions throughout the year,” company spokesman Scott Markley said.

The free pickup service is in contrast to Amazon.com, an online-only retailer that charges a fee in the handful of cities it serves. Harris Teeter, owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger, offers the service called Express Lane at 100 stores, including 10 in Charleston, and charges $4.95 per order after the first order.

Shoppers can go online to walmart.com/grocery to place orders from a selection of more than 30,000 items. An email confirmation will direct them to the specific location to pick up the orders, typically in the front or side of the store, Markley said. Customers will receive a call with the same information. Once at the store, customers call a designated number to alert a store employee, called a personal shopper, who will deliver the items to the car.

Orders placed by 1 a.m. will be available for pickup after 8 a.m., and orders placed by 10 a.m. will be available after 4 p.m. Pickups can be scheduled up to three weeks in advance.

The minimum purchase in most markets is $30. Customers can receive $10 off their first order of $50 or more by using the code, REALEASY, during checkout.

Other cites being added include Daphne, Ala.; Boise, Idaho; Kansas City, Mo.; Austin, Texas; Provo, Utah; and Richmond and Virginia Beach, Va.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.