Walmart says it has worked with FedEx to create an "incredibly convenient" option for people who would prefer not to visit busy stores to return items in the middle of an intensifying pandemic. In a blog post, Walmart exec Linne Fulcher says customers can now return items bought online without leaving their homes, Fox Business reports. Fulcher says that if customers schedule a pickup date and print a return label from Walmart's website or app, a FedEx employee will pick up the unwanted item free of charge. Customers who don't have access to a printer have the option of bringing the item to one of around 2,000 FedEx Office locations, Fulcher says. She says the new service will remain in place after the holidays.
Walmart is trying to counter competition from rival Amazon, which allows people to drop off items to be returned at some locations of Whole Foods and Kohl's, along with UPS offices, CNN reports. In the blog post, Fulcher says people can start the return process at home even if they are bringing the item back to a Walmart store—and for those who do bring items back to stores, special return areas will be set up where social distancing can be maintained. She adds that returned items won't all be going to waste. Since last December, "we have diverted more than 100,000 tons of returned merchandise ... from the landfill through our donation, product liquidation, and numerous recycling programs," she writes. (Read more Walmart stories.)