Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Walmart goes big into online grocery delivery, challenging Amazon

Increasing sales and foot traffic hasn’t been a problem for Increasing sales and foot traffic hasn’t been a problem for
Doris Mccormick | 14 March, 2018, 19:23

Walmart said on Wednesday that it planned to offer home delivery of groceries bought online in 100 cities in the United States, as it seeks to compete with rival retailers, led by Amazon, amid an accelerating campaign for control of America's kitchen cupboards.

Target acquired Shipt, a grocery delivery service, for $550 million late past year and is offering same-day delivery on groceries, essentials and other products in some cities with plans for more. The push will help make Walmart's delivery service available to roughly 40 percent of U.S. households.

Walmart charges a $9.95 fee for its grocery delivery service, and requires a minimum order of $30. That's a significant expansion from its current six markets, and will make the service available to more than 40% of U.S. households by the end of the year.

It expects to make online order pickup of groceries available at about 2,200 stores before 2019. "We're serving our customers in ways that no one else can".

Each will go through a three week training process, in part to address one of the lingering concerns that stops many from ordering groceries online.

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"We will. reach as many households as we can", Ward said.

To that end, Walmart partnered with Uber in 2016 when it kicked off a grocery delivery pilot program that also included Lyft and Deliv. Walmart already employs 18,000 personal shoppers and plans to hire more to support the expansion of this program.

Walmart Inc. has also been testing a service using its USA store workers to drop off general merchandise like toys and bedding to customers' homes after they finish work.

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. The chain says almost 90 percent of Americans are within 10 miles of a Walmart.

Amazon is also making a big push into same-day grocery deliveries. Target announced earlier this year that it plans to offer same-day delivery of groceries from half of its 1,800 stores using Shipt, a delivery startup it recently acquired. There is no subscription required, as is the case for Amazon Fresh and a handful of other, more costly options on the market. Amazon is using Whole Foods to deliver fresh groceries to Prime customers in a handful of U.S. markets and plans to expand the service nationally in 2018.

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