Walmart to expand grocery delivery

Walmart to expand grocery delivery

That means it will be making deliveries from 800 stores in total.

Walmart's new service could also be a response to Amazon's $13.2 billion purchase a year ago of Whole Foods. Walmart may also be able to use the new service as a way to give its online sales a shot in the arm, after a holiday quarter that disappointed Wall Street due to slowing online sales growth.

Walmart customers can place their orders online at Walmart.com/grocery or on the existing Walmart Grocery App. At checkout, they select the window when they want to pick up their groceries curbside, or have them delivered - sometimes as soon as same-day. The retailer did not specify which markets will offer the service as part of the latest expansion, but Tom Ward, vice president of digital operations, said Walmart will be aggressive with the rollout.

And Target, through its acquisition of grocery delivery startup Shipt previous year, is expanding same-day delivery of such items as groceries and electronics to almost every major market by the holiday shopping season. They're the same price as in Walmart stores.

Uber will continue to be one of the delivery providers, but Ward indicated Walmart will work with other companies as well.

Grocery pickup and delivery services are a big part of Walmart's plan to grow its e-commerce business as well after USA online sales decelerated to 23 percent in the fourth quarter.

"It's going to happen pretty quickly throughout the year", Ward said, adding that the ultimate plan will be to reach as many households as possible.

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Relying on third-parties for delivery could ultimately be a disadvantage, however.

"Walmart must expand its delivery capabilities if it is to remain a contender against Amazon and lead the pack against all the rest", Spieckerman said.

Amazon is not the only threat Walmart faces.

"We are gaining new customers who might not have had access to Walmart previously", Ward said about what he's learned from the pilot test of grocery delivery thus far. But it can't ignore consumer demand for grocery delivery forever.

Walmart plans to use its team of personal shoppers to pull together orders in stores and will team up with crowdsourced delivery services including Uber to send groceries.

Prime customers can shop thousands of items across fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral and everyday staples from Whole Foods Market available for free two-hour delivery.

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