Boonville residents no longer have to spend an hour at Wal-Mart buying their groceries -- now they can order them all online and have them bagged and packed in their cars without ever stepping a foot out of their vehicle.

Boonville Wal-Mart hosted the grand opening of its new pickup service -- which features 30,000 items -- on Tuesday, July 25.

"It's all online. Just like if you ordered something to get shipped to your house," said Boonville Wal-Mart general store manager Stephen Tate. "We just bring it out to the car for you inside of you having to wait in line."

Customers can choose their groceries by either visiting walmart.com/grocery or downloading the Wal-Mart Grocery mobile app.

Lauren Schregardus, director of Client Services for BAR communications said more than 90 percent of customers choose to add fresh meat, dairy or produce to their baskets.

"Other top items selected by grocery pickup shoppers include after school snacks, diapers, and large dog food bags," she said. "Additionally, parents can now do their back to school shopping with Wal-Mart grocery pickup, making this end of summer task even easier."

Once the customer has customized their order, they will chose a pick up time -- sometime between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Trained personal shoppers will then select the freshest produce, meats and other items the customer has requested. At Boonville Wal-Mart, those shoppers are Robin Curtis, Alicia Lipker, Miranda Hall, Kristopher Martin, Tabetha Johnson and Cheryl Patten, with James Bean serving as the online grocery manager.

Once a customer arrives at the pickup location the customer will call a designated number to alert an associate and the associate will quickly retrieve the prepared order and load it into the customer's car.

"At Wal-Mart, we have always been known for saving our customers money and with services like grocery pickup, we are also saving them valuable time," said market coach Dixie Davis. "Our customers have told us that grocery pick-up is a game changer. They are now able to complete their grocery shopping in a matter of minutes in between errands or on their way home from an after school activity without even unbuckling their seat belts."

Boonville Mayor Charlie Wyatt attended the grand opening at Boonville and said he was proud to be there to represent his city.

"There's a lot of things that I get to do as mayor of the city -- some bad, some good," he said. "But this is a plus for me. I appreciate the store. I appreciate the involvement this last year with the management out here."

Shari Sherman, executive director of the Warrick County Chamber of Commerce, said the online grocery feature is a convenient service.

"I use the one in Newburgh because I hate to shop. I hate to go the grocery store," she said. "I think it's a good one for mothers with small kids and the elderly that can't get out and about."

Tate said they are starting off a smaller amount of employees to work the online pick up, with the goal of expanding.

"We start off with a lower amount of orders and then it just builds and builds," he said. "We want to make sure that we're doing it right for our customers. If we just did every customer in Boonville tomorrow, we couldn't do it right. So we start off with a smaller base and do it right."

Anyone who places their first order at the online Wal-Mart grocery store and spends a minimum of $50 can get $10 of their order by using the code wowfresh.

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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