Walmart goes big into online grocery delivery, challenging Amazon

Walmart's online same-day grocery ready for prime-time

Walmart's online same-day grocery ready for prime-time

Walmart's grocery delivery isn't cheap - it will cost $9.95 per order with a $30 minimum, unlike Amazon's subscription model that offers free grocery delivery to Prime members.

Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service across the U.S. this year, the company announced Wednesday.

Alongside its press release announcing the significant expansion of the home-delivery service, Walmart also published a blog post detailing just how the shopping option will work, for customers who don't already do their grocery shopping online.

Walmart says it today employs over 18,000 personal shoppers and plans to add thousands more over the course of 2018 as its online grocery service expands.

According to Walmart, that will mean more than 800 of its stores in the United States being used to fulfill online orders.

In another effort to bolster online sales, Walmart said earlier this year that it planned to accelerate its web-based grocery business by increasing the number of stores where customers can order food online and pick it up at stores.

Walmart Grocery Delivery brings customers the convenience of shopping when and where they want for quality, fresh produce, meat, seafood and bakery items, along with pantry staples, consumables and seasonal general merchandise.

"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. There has been plenty of activity from retailers like Walmart and others in the grocery delivery space to support it. This could put it at a disadvantage, but there isn't compelling evidence yet that speed offers a competitive advantage in grocery delivery.

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

With the help of Walmart's personal shoppers and crowd-sourced delivery services, the retailer will be able to shop for and deliver fresh groceries to the doorsteps of millions of Americans.

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

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. Walmart is using Uber as its delivery partner, too, rather than a fleet of its own vans.

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