Walmart goes big, goes nationwide with online grocery deliveries
Walmart currently offers online grocery deliveries in six markets. By the end of the year, more than 40 percent of all U.S. households will be able to have groceries delivered to their door as the retail giant expands the service across the country.
“Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, and we serve more than 150 million customers a week, which gives us a unique opportunity to make every day a little easier for busy families,” said Tom Ward, vice president, Digital Operations, Walmart U.S., in a statement. “Today, we’re expanding this promise by helping even more customers save time and money without leaving their homes.”
Walmart’s service, which promises the same everyday prices online as in stores, will be available on its website at walmart.com/grocery and through the its mobile app. Customers pay a $9.95 fee on orders of $30 or more.
Online grocery orders at Walmart are picked by personal shoppers in its stores. The retailer, which currently employs more than 18,000 personal shoppers, plans to add thousands more as it expands home delivery this year. Personal shoppers go through a three-week training program to learn how to select the best produce and meat for customers.
Delivery of online orders will be handled by Uber and other providers. Online grocery customers are very important to the retailer. In the past, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has said that online grocery shoppers spend nearly twice that of those who shop in its stores alone.
The move by Walmart to expand its grocery delivery service is likely to be seen as a way for the retailer to head off Amazon’s Prime Now, which offers free deliveries to members within two hours. Walmart’s new program, which includes an option for same-day delivery for orders placed by 1:00 p.m., does not require a subscription.
Walmart also faces a growing challenge from Target, which is expanding online grocery deliveries using Shipt, which it acquired last year. Target has announced plans to make the service available to the majority of its stores by the 2018 Christmas selling season.
- Walmart to Expand Online Grocery Delivery Coast to Coast – Walmart
- Slowing online sales and reduced profits worry Walmart investors – RetailWire
- Will Instacart and Shipt give Amazon a run for its money? – RetailWire
- Amazon rolls out Prime Now deliveries from Whole Foods – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What impact will Walmart’s nationwide rollout of online grocery delivery have on consumer behavior and its business rivals? Will Walmart’s program prove to be a tipping point for online grocery deliveries in the U.S.?