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A Walmart Pickup Tower. (Walmart Photo)

Walmart is doubling down on the massive Pickup Towers it has placed in hundreds of stores across the U.S.

The retail giant said this week it will deploy 500 more of the hulking towers, which are similar to Amazon Lockers in that they store items customers order online for pickup at Walmart locations, by the end of the year. That will make a total of 700 Pickup Towers in Walmart stores nationwide.

To use the towers, customers order items online for pickup at stores. They scan a barcode on their phone at the tower and the items descend a chute to the waiting customers.

Walmart wants to make it easier for customers to pick up larger items, so the company will add accompanying lockers for things like TVs.

The Pickup Towers are part of a larger aggressive strategy to embrace technology and e-commerce as it battles Amazon in both the physical and digital retail arenas. Another recent example came last month, when Walmart unveiled a plan to expand its online grocery delivery service from six test markets to 100 metropolitan areas, leveraging a network of more than 800 physical retail stores to fulfill customer orders.

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