Walmart hits major milestone in store-based grocery delivery
A Walmart store in Texas is the retailer’s 3,000th location to fulfill local online grocery orders.
The Walmart Neighborhood Market location in Harker Heights, Texas now offers delivery of online grocery purchases. The discounter, which introduced store-based grocery delivery in 2018, has been rapidly expanding the scope of the offering since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
Efforts have included the launch of a two-hour Express Delivery service that uses personal shoppers to pick from an in-store assortment of more than 160,000 food and general merchandise items; the introduction of the Amazon Prime-like Walmart+ program, which includes qualified free delivery with many items shipping directly from stores; and a pilot of grocery deliveries from the store to a “smart cooler” outside customer homes.
In addition, Walmart is expanding a successful pilot of store-based, high-tech “local fulfillment centers,” competing with similar automated fulfillment centers operated by major grocery rivals Albertsons and Kroger.
To help drive consumer participation in its store-based grocery delivery service, Walmart is temporarily eliminating delivery fees, which typically cost $7.95 or $9.95 depending upon time of day, for up to three deliveries of $50 or more.
In a post on LinkedIn, Walmart chief product officer Meng Chee said nearly 70% of the U.S. population now has access to grocery delivery from a Walmart store.
“When we launched delivery from your store in 2018, we knew it would be a game-changer for our customers, but we would have never expected the growth we saw last year due to the pandemic,” said Chee. “I'm so proud of how we were able to scale this service over the last year to make it available to our customers in a time they've needed it most.”