Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this week announced that its three-month-old program that lets customers order products online and pick them up at its brick-and-mortar stores has been spread to 3,300 stores in the U.S.

The Site-to-Store program was launched in March with 750 stores. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant said the program is key to its effort to utilize as many sales channels as possible.

“One of the goals of Wal-Mart.com is to be the premier multichannel retailer,” stated a Wal-Mart spokesman, in an e-mail. “By that, I mean we want to make it easier for customers to shop Wal-Mart, regardless of which channel they choose to do so — online, in stores or a combination of the two — as is the case with Site-to-Store.”

Unlike traditional online sales programs, Site-to-Store does not charge customers for shipping ordered products to Wal-Mart stores.

Ken Perkins, an analyst at Retail Metrics LLC, a consulting firm in Swampscott, Mass., predicted that with Wal-Mart’s success, more retailers are likely to adopt programs that let users order online and pick up their products at stores.

Rob Garf, an analyst at Boston-based AMR Research Inc., added that the new program is another indication that Wal-Mart has picked up its online business after a slow start.



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