Walmart to expand online grocery delivery across the US

Walmart to expand online grocery delivery across the US

The service is now available in six markets. It will offer shoppers same-day delivery of fresh produce, meat and seafood, along with non-perishable items. The decision will also create damaging competition to Kroger (NYSE: KR) and other companies which focus nearly exclusively on the grocery business.

Game On. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) will deliver groceries in 100 cites as a challenge to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and its Whole Foods operation.

Walmart has been preparing its stores for its online grocery business, re-outfitting many of them to support the service, CNBC previously reported. Whole Foods also now offers delivery through Instacart, which ships groceries for Kroger, Acme and Costco, too.Target late past year bought online grocery delivery startup Shipt for $550 million, adding to the competition.

"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. The company said no subscription is required. Customers can pick up their groceries without having to get out of their vehicle.

Both companies have also introduced services that allow delivery people to enter homes and leave packages inside. "Walmart no doubt hopes that baskets well above $30 will dominate but either way, quick expansion will bring new insights into the economics". 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.

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The percent of the US covered by the service is even more important than the city count.

Walmart also plans to increase the number of its stores offering curbside grocery pickups by 1,000 to 2,200 by year-end.

For packing the items together in stores, Walmart will use its collection of more than 18,000 "personal shoppers".

More recently, it began working with partners like Uber to trial grocery delivery in select markets including Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa and San Jose. Walmart will use its own personal shoppers to pack orders placed online and a "crowd-sourced delivery service" to transport these same groceries to customer doorsteps. Despite the slowed growth, executives have reiterated their forecast for 40 percent growth during the fiscal year. "We're serving our customers in ways that no one else can".

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