Walmart expands home delivery in fight with Amazon

A Wal Mart Pickup-Grocery employee waits next to a truck at a test store in Bentonville Arkansas

Walmart also plans to increase the number of its stores offering curbside grocery pickups by 1,000 to 2,200 by year-end. Since Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition, the ecommerce giant has made an aggressive play for the grocery market - Walmart's most profitable category. The push will help make Walmart's delivery service available to roughly 40 percent of United States households. Walmart has focused on improving the freshness and quality of its assortment the past several years, while aggressively lowering prices on items and rolling out convenience-based services like its online grocery pickup for customers.

That's a major expansion from the six it now delivers in and will see Walmart home delivery groceries available to over 40% of United States households.

Although Walmart says delivery will be available same-day for customers, it doesn't break out one- and two-hour timeframes like its close competitors.

Groceries can be delivered to customers as soon as the same day.

Tom Ward, vice president of digital operations for Walmart U.S. said that they will be able to deliver fresh groceries to the doorstep of millions of Americans.

In Walmart's case, the orders will be picked by in-store employees, who will receive three weeks of additional training. As it takes the service to other cities, it may use other crowd-sourced delivery methods in addition to Uber. There has been plenty of activity from retailers like Walmart and others in the grocery delivery space to support it. Earlier this month, it added prepped kits and ready-to-cook items to its online grocery selection, for example, in order to cater to home cooks who don't have time to shop and prep ingredients.

About 1,200 Walmart stores across the country have grocery pick-up with 1,000 more planned to be added this year.

About 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, Ward said.

The retailer is launching the service, which offers same-day delivery in as little as three hours, across the USA this year, the company announced Wednesday.

Amazon is also making a big push into same-day grocery deliveries.

Delivery is becoming less of an option, and more of market demand.

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.



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