Attention: Walmart's new pickup towers are NOT meeting places for singles. It's not THAT kinda pickup place.

Walmart is streamlining the shopping experience and adding convenience to the process of shopping for goods. At this point the towers do not work for groceries, but Walmart is developing even larger towers with refrigeration that will be used for grocery pickup.

Walmart is using Central New York locations to launch its new intiative. Maybe you've seen them or even tried them in New Hartford or Rome.

Those two stores in the Mohawk Valley are the first two Walmarts in New York State (and two of just a handful nationwide) to utilize the new system, with hundreds more on the way.

The superstore chain had tried and failed with a previous iteration of the concept, featuring pickup towers located in the REAR of stores. But, let's face it, if you're seeking convenience, who wants to walk all the way to the back of a gigantic Walmart?

So, the pickup towers are right up front, where they should be, and are accompanied by a smattering of comfortable chairs and couches. The latter touch may be necessary in the future, as more customers catch on and arrive to pick up their orders at the same time.

Right now, the process is pretty easy and carefree:

1. Place your order online.

2. Walk in the front door and locate the 16-foot tower.

3. Scan the barcode Walmart sent you via email or enter the order number, and out pops a box with your items.

You're in and out in under a minute. These vending machines-on-steroids are leading the way to the future, right here in Central New York.

Have you tried the pickup towers? Do they make your life easier? Will you use them a lot? And, where is this all headed as Walmart and Target (and Price Chopper and Hannaford) battle for our consumerism and/or our souls?

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