Retail giant Walmart to start ‘in-home’ grocery deliveries

Walmart service has announced that in an attempt to reach many customers, it has started doing home delivery of groceries for its shoppers.

The home delivery service is set to go live this fall, the company said during its annual shareholders’ meeting in Arkansas.

Some of the cities that will benefit from this service include Missouri, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach, Florida targeting to reach over 1 million buyers.

In the announcement, the company said that it would “learn and scale” the viable options in the U.S. from these cities. However, it never mentioned any plans for further expansion.

Walmart’s new in-home delivery project is under Bart Stein, a Google alum who joined the retailer from Wim. When he joined Walmart over a year ago, Stein his task was to steer project Franklin- the second startup hatched from Walmart’s tech incubator, Store No.8.

Amazon also offers a similar delivery service, adding to the rivalry between the two companies as each tries to outdo the other. For now, it will be a battle to see who delivers grocery in the shortest time possible.

Just recently, the two companies announced a next-day delivery for their buyers. Walmart’s target is to reach about 75% of American buyers by the end of this year.

Amazon is keeping up with the trend, most recently announcing several “Key” devices which enable deliveries to customers in their homes, garages or cars.

Online buying of grocery is growing in popularity at a fast rate now. A study done by Coresight Research shows that in 2018, 23.1% of U.S. consumers purchased groceries via the internet. In the last 12 months, the number increased to 36.8%.  Moreover, in 2018, there were 2.2% online sales of U.S. food and beverage. This year, the percentage is estimated to rise to 2.7%. Checking on Walmart’s online growth, Coresight noted that in 2018, roughly 25.5% of online grocery buyers did their shopping at Walmart. 2019 numbers have already risen to 37.4%.