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Walmart is finally getting serious about grocery delivery
14 March 2018, 07:18 | Lucia Cruz
Orders will be packaged by"personal shoppers in Walmart stores and delivery is being crowdsourced from partners such
While it's still a sliver of the total grocery basket today, Walmart, Amazon and traditional grocers are seeing increased demand for the convenience of online grocery shopping.
Walmart Inc (WMT.N) will expand its grocery home delivery services to reach more than 40 percent of USA households, or 100 metro areas from an existing six, as the retailer steps up a fight against rival Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).
Customers place their orders via Walmart's dedicated website, walmart.com/grocery, or the standalone Walmart Grocery app. Walmart saidmore delivery companies will be announced later.
While Amazon has a grocery delivery service of its own, it has started to use Whole Foods, and its Prime shopping and streaming media service as a mean to add new customers in the sector.
Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service across the United States this year, the company announced Wednesday.
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For packing the items together in stores, Walmart will use its collection of more than 18,000 "personal shoppers".
Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion a year ago, recently introduced two-hour grocery delivery from Whole Foods to its Prime members in four cities - Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; Dallas; and Virginia Beach, Va. - with further expansion expected. Prime members receive two-hour delivery for free and ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more.
Walmart will use its personal shoppers to collect orders in stores and continue to work with ride-hailing services like Uber for deliveries, which will carry a $9.95 fee and require a minimum order of $30. It also comes at a time of intense competition within the grocery space and follows Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods past year. The chain says almost 90 percent of Americans are within 10 miles of a Walmart. AmazonFresh costs $14.99 a month and is available only to Amazon Prime customers, who pay an additional $99 annually. Meanwhile, grocery startup Instacart has been expanding its roster of clients including B.J.'s and Kroger.
Walmart's marked focus on "freshest produce" is likely another signal that its countering Amazon's big grocery push - bolstered by the e-giant's $13.7 billion Whole Foods buy a year ago.
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