Walmart Expands Online Grocery Delivery


Roughly 800 Walmart stores and more than 18,000 employees will fulfill the online grocery orders.

Walmart's marked focus on "freshest produce" is likely another signal that its countering Amazon's big grocery push - bolstered by the e-giant's $13.7 billion Whole Foods buy past year. Deliveries will cost $9.95 with a minimum $30 order and companies like Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] will provide transport. Customers place their orders online at or on the existing Walmart Grocery App, and unlike other services, they find the same every day low prices on items that they do in stores.

Walmart now provides home delivery of groceries bought online in six markets.

It expects to make online order pickup of groceries available at about 2,200 stores before 2019.

"We're moving fast to save our customers time", Tom Ward, vice president of digital operations for Walmart, said on a call with reporters on Tuesday. Customers can pick up their groceries without having to get out of their vehicle. This service will be like Uber helping to ferry the groceries to customer's doors. Cowen researchers saying past year that food and beverage sales online account for just 4 percent of total sales in the category, and online accounted for only 9 percent of sales for consumables like toothpaste and household goods. The costs of items will be the same as they are in store, Ward said. He also said Tuesday that the company now employs more than 18,000 personal shoppers with additional hires planned as both grocery pickup and delivery services are rolled out to a larger audience this year.

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Walmart is getting serious about delivering groceries to your house.

Online sales comprise just a fraction of the $800 billion US grocery market - a smaller share than in countries like the United Kingdom or South Korea - but consumer acceptance is growing.

And Sam's Club, the wholesale club arm of Walmart, announced a partnership with Instacart two weeks ago that offers same-day delivery on groceries and household essentials in three markets: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and St. Louis. Amazon also has spent over a decade trying to build up its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service, but so far seen limited success.

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

Walmart is delivering groceries to shoppers across the US.