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Walmart to Offer Home Delivery of Groceries to 100 US Cities

14 March 2018, 07:19 | Kevin Scott

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Walmart expands online grocery delivery coast-to-coast

For shoppers who are new to the program when it rolls out later this year, Walmart is offering $10 off a first order of $50 or more, and free delivery if a basket also meets that threshold.

Walmart is going all-in on grocery delivery one month after Amazon announced it would start offering members of its Prime service free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired a year ago in a $13.7 billion deal.

Under the new program, Walmart workers will pack online grocery orders at stores and then hand them off to a delivery company or startups like Uber.

Walmart plans to expand its online grocery delivery service to a fleet of roughly 800 stores by the end of the year, as competition continues to ramp up in the digital grocery aisle.

The Rockford-area Walmart stores now allow groceries to be ordered online and picked up at specially designated zones outside the store.

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Now, however, Walmart has devised a slick new work-around, according to today's Wall Street Journal: New Yorkers may balk at Walmart being physically inside the five boroughs (even in Staten Island), but it's betting they can't say no to same-day delivery of low-priced groceries. It will partner with Uber and other crowdsourced delivery companies to transport the groceries to customers' doorsteps. For now, younger shoppers tend to buy more groceries online, but the large majority shop in stores, Cowen said. "We'll leverage our footprint where it makes the most sense to reach as many people with the services as we can". Walmart said its online sales are still on track to rise 40 percent this year.

For Walmart's new service, each delivery will cost customers $9.95 and orders must be a minimum of $30 each.

Online grocery shopping is forecast to grow to $100 million, or $850 per household, by 2022, according to a study by the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen.

"We have learned an very bad lot from our delivery pilot", Walmarts vice president of digital operations Tom Ward said during a telephone press conference on Tuesday. Now that stands at around 18,000, though the retailer says it expects to add "thousands more" this year. The only option was to cancel the entire thing and start over, I was told. How Walmart communicates this value to consumers will likely be crucial to the success of its home delivery service.



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