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Walmart takes a fresh jab at Amazon with grocery delivery

(Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Walmart is making its next move in the grocery space. The retailer is looking to expand its online grocery delivery service to around 800 stores by the end of 2018. This will help the company reach more than 40% of US households in 100 metro areas. Walmart plans to offer same-day delivery of perishable and non-perishable food items which will be packed by personal shoppers. There are 18,000 employees in this position, and more are being added. The retail giant’s stores are being remodeled in some locations to prepare for the rollout of this service.

Partners like Uber and Deliv support Walmart’s grocery delivery initiative, with the partnerships looking to increase going forward. The delivery service comes at a flat fee of $9.95 on a minimum order of $30. This rivals Amazon Fresh, which comes with a subscription.

Amazon Fresh has now given way to Amazon Prime which offers two-hour free delivery on a minimum order of $35. However, the one-hour delivery option comes with a fee of around $8.

It is apparent that Walmart is making every move that it can to gain an edge over Amazon. Amazon, despite its high profile acquisition of Whole Foods, has not gained a solid footing in the grocery space and hence is offering as much incentive and convenience possible to win customers.

Walmart has already invested heavily in its online grocery pickup service, which is available at 1,200 stores and is expected to be rolled out to another 1,000 stores by the end of this year. This service does not carry any extra cost for the customer. As you may recall, Walmart’s large fleet of stores was expected to provide a huge advantage to the retailer in grocery pickup.

So why bring in grocery delivery? It appears that Walmart wants to leave no stone unturned in offering convenience to its customers especially when someone like Amazon is around. Walmart is looking to not only make things easier for its existing customers but also to gain new ones.

Walmart’s grocery delivery service is aimed at customers who don’t want to drive all the way out to a Walmart store, customers who physically cannot go to a store and customers who are accustomed to getting their groceries delivered to their doorsteps.

In short, it’s for those who can’t go and those who don’t want to go.

It is only natural that Walmart would come up with this initiative at a time when apart from Amazon, other grocers like Kroger are expanding their delivery services through partnerships with Instacart.

Walmart is likely to see success with its grocery delivery initiative due to this benefit of having a large number of stores across the country.

Be it online ordering, curbside pickup or home delivery, as the retailers battle it out, the customer being the king gets to enjoy the spoils.

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