Walmart announced that it will expand its online grocery delivery service to more than 40 percent of USA households by year-end, growing from its current availability in just six markets to over 100 metro areas during that time.
In order to make the service possible, Walmart employs trained personal shoppers who shop for and deliver the groceries. While only one in three shoppers now purchase groceries online for home delivery, about six in 10 expect to use it more in the next five years, according to a survey of 1,100 people conducted by industry researcher Field Agent.
Walmart is also covering the delivery cost of customers for the first order that they make.
The Walmart delivery service costs $9.95 per order and requires a $30 minimum purchase.
While Amazon has excelled at providing a destination for one-off grocery products or hard-to-find specialty items, Walmart is positioning itself as more of a traditional shopping destination that can replace consumer's weekly stock-up trip to the store, Bishop said. The company says its staff "must complete a three week training program learning how to select the freshest produce and the best cuts of meat for Online Grocery customers".
About 800 stores will operate the service. Customers can also order groceries - and use the promo code - through the retailer's app. The move comes as rivals Amazon, Kroger and Target are all investing in the increasingly popular service.
AmazonFresh, on the other hand, typically utilizes internal Amazon infrastructure, including its own lime green delivery trucks which have become ubiquitous on streets in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia.
Walmart says it will continue to use of ride-hailing services like Uber to deliver the goods to shoppers' homes as it expands its service.
Amazon also is looking to leverage its own grocery footprint following its blockbuster $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods past year.
Though many companies, Amazon in particular, are now working to shorten the supply chain with grocery delivery, with this move Walmart gains greater control over its supply chain on the production side.
Amazon has also expanded food delivery options from Whole Foods in six metro areas over the past month. Every time the notoriously anti-labor company tries to build a store, even by hyping all the jobs and cheap food it will provide, there's a neighborhood uprising and Walmart's team gets booed out of town. It's also brought in new customers in the six cities where it's now offered, which include Dallas and San Jose, California.