Walmart will use its own personal shoppers to pack orders placed online and a "crowd-sourced delivery service" to transport these same groceries to customer doorsteps. There has been plenty of activity from retailers like Walmart and others in the grocery delivery space to support it.
The move into home delivery is part of Walmart's broader push to get more of its in-store shoppers to start buying online as well, where they typically spend twice as much.
The service, available today in six markets, will grow to serve more than 100 metro areas across the country.
"It seems, at long last, groceries are making the transition to the digital age", he said. With all those new cities, the service will eventually reach 40 percent of United States households, the company said.
To order groceries online from Walmart.com and have them delivered, a shopper will pay a flat delivery fee of $9.95, and a basket must contain at least $30 worth of items. Those stores will be the first to introduce the program, Tom Ward, the vice president of Walmart's digital operations in the USA, said on a call with members of the media. Amazon recently offered home delivery via Whole Foods in six cities, along with Amazon Fresh and other delivery options.More news: Heather Locklear charged with battery
Carol Spieckerman, a retail consultant and president of Spieckerman Retail, said the grocery delivery expansion should give Walmart an opportunity to "forge relationships with new customers", especially those who value convenience but don't want to navigate the retailer's stores. The company said no subscription is required. Walmart said more delivery companies will be announced later.
The company has its pickup program available at 1,200 locations across the US and plans to extend it to about 2,200 by the end of the year, according to Ward. According to CNBC, Uber will continue to be one of the retailer's delivery partners.
For packing the items together in stores, Walmart will use its collection of more than 18,000 "personal shoppers".
It also complements Walmart's rollout of curbside grocery pickup, now available in 1,200 stores and coming to an additional 1,000 this year. "We're serving our customers in ways that no one else can".