Economy

Walmart expands home grocery delivery service

Walmart expands home grocery delivery service

By the end of the year though, Walmart plans to expand its same-day grocery delivery to more than 100 different cities across the country.

This rollout will be available to around 40% of U.S. households by the end of the year.

The move into home delivery is part of Walmart's broader push to get more of its in-store shoppers to start buying online as well, where they typically spend twice as much.

The retailer employs more than 18,000 personal shoppers that power the program with thousands more being added this year. In its announcement on Wednesday, the company said the service would be available to more than 40 percent of households in the United States by the end of 2018. Deliveries will cost $9.95 with a minimum $30 order. That's a significant expansion from its current six markets, and will make the service available to more than 40% of USA households by the end of the year. Ward said Walmart has also gained new customers through the service: People who may not regularly shop at Walmart, but use the delivery service when short on time.

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"We're moving fast to save our customers time", Tom Ward, vice president of digital operations for Walmart, said on a call with reporters on Tuesday.

Walmart says it will continue to use of ride-hailing services like Uber to deliver the goods to shoppers' homes as it expands its service.

This marks the most significant move to date for the massive Bentonville, Ark., retailer as it goes head-to-head with Amazon, which added the Whole Foods grocery chain to its holdings previous year.

Orders will be available as well through the Walmart Grocery app. There is no subscription required, as is the case for Amazon Fresh and a handful of other, more costly options on the market.

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Walmart is expanding its online delivery services for groceries to over 800 stores.

The company added that it was gaining more new customers who might otherwise not have had any access to a Walmart previously.

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.

"We have learned an bad lot from our delivery pilot", Walmarts vice president of digital operations Tom Ward said during a telephone press conference on Tuesday. Customers can get their first order delivered for free with promo code FRESHCAR.

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The Whole Foods service began in certain geographic areas in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach.