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Walmart ramps up outreach to urban dwellers

Bentonville, Ark. - In its effort to reach more urban shoppers, Walmart US is testing a program that will allow residents in four major cities to order from walmart.com and pick up the following day at a local FedEx location.

In addition, Walmart is starting a program that allows consumers to order online and pick up on the same day at a local Walmart store. The service will expand to 800 Walmart stores in large urban areas by the end of the month.

Both programs - FedEx Site to Store and Pick Up Today - are part of what company president and ceo Mike Duke described during yesterday's analyst meeting as "Next Generation Walmart."

The FedEx service launches today and encompasses 55 FedEx stations in New York City, 40 in Chicago, 24 in San Francisco and 22 in Washington DC. The pilot program took place in Los Angles and Boston.

Consumers using Pick Up Today service receive as text or email alerting them when the merchandise is ready to be retrieved from their local stores - usually about four hours after the order has been placed.

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