Walmart is expanding its online delivery services for groceries to over 800 stores. The expansion will be completed by the end of 2018. Competition continues to increase in the online grocery industry.
The expansion opens the retailer up to 100 metropolitan areas that reach over 40% of all U.S. households. It will have same-day service for fresh meat, seafood and produce as well as non-perishable goods.
The grocery delivery business for Walmart will have the support of several partners that includes Uber, the company announced Wednesday. It already has been working with the ride-hailing company.
Walmart’s announcement comes only weeks after Amazon brought onboard a pair of new cities to its Prime grocery delivery service, which brought its total number of cities to six.
Retailers such as Target and Kroger have partnered with other third-party provides like Shipt, Deliv and Instacart.
Walmart had prepared stores for the online grocery service, re-outfitting a large number of them to support it. The stores will become the first ones to introduce its delivery program.
Walmart is expecting to make pickup of online orders of groceries available in 2,200 stores before the start of 2019. A Walmart spokesperson said the idea is to reach as many U.S. households as possible, while leveraging our footprint in areas that make the most sense.
In order to make an online order from Walmart.com for groceries and have them then delivered, shoppers will play a $9.95 flat fee for the delivery, and a basket must have a minimum of $30 worth of purchases.
Orders will be available as well through the Walmart Grocery app. No subscription is required, as it is with Amazon Fresh and several other options that are more costly in the market.
For packing items in the stores, Walmart will use over 18,000 personal shoppers. The company added that more workers would be moving into that position weekly, as more stores become outfitted to fulfill orders through its online site.
The company added that it was gaining more new customers who might otherwise not have had any access to a Walmart previously. The service was being offered in just Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, San Jose, Orlando and Tampa
For those shoppers new to this program when it is rolled out later in 2018, Walmart is offering a first order discount of $10 on orders of more than $50, as well as free delivery if the basket meets with the threshold.