Friday, 14 December, 2018

Walmart Expands Home Grocery Delivery To 100 Cities

Walmart expands online grocery delivery coast-to-coast Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Russell Knight | 14 March, 2018, 12:51

Walmart plans to expand its grocery home-delivery service to more than 100 metro areas this year, a sign its food fight with Amazon is heating up.

Amazon is now rolling out free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries in six cities to Prime members who pay $99 a year. Orders can also be placed via a Walmart Grocery app.

The announcement comes just weeks after Amazon added two cities to its new Amazon Prime grocery delivery service, bringing the total number up to six.

Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion past year, recently introduced two-hour grocery delivery from Whole Foods to its Prime members in four cities - Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; Dallas; and Virginia Beach, Va. - with further expansion expected. The company said no subscription is required.

Meanwhile, unlike grocery delivery services such as Instacart and Shipt (the latter which was recently acquired by Target for $550 million), Walmart doesn't mark up the cost of groceries sold online. For now, younger shoppers tend to buy more groceries online, but the large majority shop in stores, Cowen said.

Even discount chain Aldi is exploring grocery delivery options. Aldi has since expanded the program to additional markets.

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Trump cabinet shakeup. Will Rick Perry move from Energy to Veterans Affairs?
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Both companies have also introduced services that allow delivery people to enter homes and leave packages inside.

Customers place their orders via Walmart's dedicated website, walmart.com/grocery, or the standalone Walmart Grocery app.

Groceries are key to Walmart's success with about 56 percent of its US revenue coming from grocery sales.

So far, Walmart offers curbside grocery pickup at 1,200 stores and plans to accelerate the rollout to 2,200 by year-end. According to CNBC, Uber will continue to be one of the retailer's delivery partners. He also said Tuesday that the company now employs more than 18,000 personal shoppers with additional hires planned as both grocery pickup and delivery services are rolled out to a larger audience this year.

While only one in three shoppers now purchase groceries online for home delivery, about six in ten expect to use it more in the next five years, according to a survey of 1,100 people conducted by industry researcher Field Agent. Despite the slowed growth, executives have reiterated their forecast for 40 percent growth during the fiscal year.

"We're going to gain customers who might not have access to a brick-and-mortar store", he said.

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