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Glendale Galleria debuts Curbside pickup pod

A new curbside service at the Glendale Galleria is aiming to appease shoppers that would rather steer clear of the parking lot and mall crowds.

The shopping center is the first to house a Curbside pickup pod that opened on Tuesday. It allows patrons to pull up and grab the items they've ordered ahead of time.

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An app allows customers to browse through the inventory of 20 stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Target and GameStop.

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After customers fill their cart and pay, a Curbside employee heads to the store from where the items were purchased and brings them to the pod where they can be picked up an hour or two later, said Jaron Waldman, the company's co-founder.

The bags are either kept in storage or kept behind the locked glass window of the kiosk-like pod.

Once an order has been put together and is ready for pickup, the customer is sent a text, but they don't have to text back and let the Curbside employee they're coming, Waldman said.

A tracking feature lets the worker know that a customer is just about to pull into the mall.

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"Your cellphone will notify our associates that you're approaching and meet you with your bag," Waldman said.

There is no minimum for an order and patrons get to keep the reusable cloth bags the goods are delivered in.

The pickup pod is located just outside the food court entrance and resembles a kiosk topped with a 20-foot pole so customers can spot it, he added.

Waldman, who lives in the Bay Area where his company is headquartered, used to live in nearby Eagle Rock and knows how much Glendale shoppers rely on cars, that's why he picked it as his launch site.

Christina Riojas, the mall's marketing manager, said mall officials jumped at the idea to add another element while creating a new revenue stream for participating stores.

She said she pictures the Curbside service being used by customers who don't want to tread through a crowded mall or parents who don't want the added challenge that comes with bringing along their little ones.

"When you have a kid in the car, it's hard to get them out and drag them in and purchase items for them," Riojas said.

Waldman added that there is no added charge to use Curbside and that his business makes a profit off of commissions from each sale.

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