Walmart to Expand Grocery Delivery Service to 800 Stores
Walmart plans to expand its online grocery delivery service to a fleet of roughly 800 stores by the end of the year, as competition continues to ramp up in the digital grocery aisle. The expansion will open up the retailer to 100 metropolitan areas, reaching more than 40 percent of U.S. households. It will offer shoppers same-day delivery of fresh produce, meat and seafood, along with non-perishable items. Walmart's grocery delivery business will be supported by a number of partners, including Uber, the company said on Wednesday. It has already been working with Uber as it has piloted its efforts.
Total Retail's Take: The online grocery market is fast-growing and increasingly competitive, as retailers such as Amazon.com, Walmart, Target, Kroger and others try to gobble up market share. Walmart is seemingly reacting to Amazon's decision to expand its Prime grocery delivery service to six cities, a number that's surely to grow as it continues to integrate Whole Foods into its business.
"When it comes to food, today’s consumer is demanding greater flexibility and options for home delivery," says Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus, a provider in digital solutions for grocery. "In a recent study conducted by Mercatus across 1 million households in the U.S., 62 percent of all respondents indicated a degree of interest in home delivery solutions. The need for home delivery is fueling the fight for the last-mile across the grocery retail industry. When considering such solutions, grocery retailers need to consider the entire fulfillment spectrum, including in-store and curbside. They equally need to make sure they're not inadvertently co-opting their brand into the hands of another party and losing sight of the most critical part of the customer journey."