Walmart and Instacart Partner for Same-Day U.S. Delivery
Walmart is partnering with Instacart to offer same-day grocery delivery starting in a few U.S. markets, making it the latest major retail chain to team up with the grocery delivery service in the fight against Amazon.com and Whole Foods. The partnership between Walmart and Instacart is currently in a pilot phase in three California markets — Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego — as well as Tulsa, Oklahoma. Instacart already has partnered with Aldi, Target, Costco, Albertsons, Kroger and Walmart’s Sam’s Club, along with smaller grocers and drug stores.
Total Retail's Take: Same-day delivery is becoming an expected offering for retailers and grocers as more consumers seek out instant order fulfillment options. Walmart’s partnership with Instacart comes at a key time. Consumers are relying on grocery delivery at an unprecedented rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and customers may continue to shop online more frequently even as things return to normal — if they have a good experience. By offering fast delivery, large chain grocers have a stronger position against Amazon, which offers grocery delivery services via Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now from its own warehouses as well as Whole Foods stores.
Another interesting aspect to this partnership is that last week Walmart announced that it was once again delaying the launch of its Walmart+ program. This new delivery option through Instacart might be a temporary stopgap until the Walmart+ service is fully ready. The new subscription service, Walmart+, had been planned to launch in July. Once past the pilot phase, I expect Instacart will begin delivery from Walmart locations across the country as customers are increasingly seeking faster, more convenient shopping options in light of the pandemic. Once Walmart+ is ready for a nationwide rollout, we will see what that means for the retailer's deal with Instacart.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content manager at Total Retail and sister brand Women in Retail Leadership Circle. She is passionate about digital media and handles social media, video, and podcast production for both brands, as well as contributing articles and attending events. Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia.