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Walmart steps up Amazon battle with nationwide grocery delivery
14 March 2018, 07:22 | Dale Webster
Walmart Will Start Delivering Groceries To A Lot Of Americans — But It'll Cost $10
Whole Foods also now offers delivery through Instacart, which ships groceries for Kroger, Acme and Costco, too.Target late past year bought online grocery delivery startup Shipt for $550 million, adding to the competition.
But unlike with Prime Now, ordering groceries online from Walmart doesn't require a subscription of any kind - only a minimum order of $30.
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.
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.
Walmart has been investing in online grocery for years, starting with limited tests of curbside pickup that later expanded across the U.S. It can house online orders in big coolers in the back ahead of customers' arrival, and it can repurpose existing store staff to prep the online orders as they arrive.
In Walmart's case, the orders will be picked by in-store employees, who will receive three weeks of additional training.
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 Grocery Delivery includes fresh produce, meat, seafood and bakery items, along with pantry staples, consumables and seasonal general merchandise.
About 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, Ward said.
The retailer will use its own "personal shoppers" to pick orders and will crowd-source delivery through Uber and other providers. It's now using 18,000 personal shoppers.
Online sales comprise just a fraction of the $800 billion USA grocery market - a smaller share than in countries like the United Kingdom or South Korea - but consumer acceptance is growing. 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. Select alcohol is also available for delivery to customers.
Delivery is becoming less of an option, and more of market demand. Amazon is using Whole Foods to deliver fresh groceries to Prime customers in a handful of United States markets and plans to expand the service nationally in 2018.
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