Walmart plans to expand its grocery home-delivery service to more than 100 metro areas this year, a sign its food fight with Amazon is heating up. The service uses personal shoppers to select items and then take them to shoppers' cars parked outside. The company said no subscription is required.
And Target, through its acquisition of grocery delivery startup Shipt previous year, is expanding same-day delivery of such items as groceries and electronics to almost every major market by the holiday shopping season.
The grocery service tends to be more affordable than rivals, which is perhaps Walmart's key advantage in this space.
That has United States grocers racing to meet demand, Chris Medenwald, a marketing manager at Field Agent, said in a report. "We will leverage our footprint where it makes the most sense". But it can't ignore consumer demand for grocery delivery forever. Orders can also be placed via a Walmart Grocery app.
Walmart's new service could also be a response to Amazon's $13.2 billion purchase previous year of Whole Foods. Its Jet.com unit will offer same-day delivery in New York City.
Even discount chain Aldi is exploring grocery delivery options. Customers can pick up their groceries without having to get out of their auto. For example, when I recently tried to change a pickup order to a delivery, Walmart simply couldn't handle making the switch. "Walmart no doubt hopes that baskets well above $30 will dominate but either way, quick expansion will bring new insights into the economics".
The percent of the USA covered by the service is even more important than the city count. Walmart has focused on improving the freshness and quality of its assortment the past several years, while aggressively lowering prices on items and rolling out convenience-based services like its online grocery pickup for customers.
While Amazon has a grocery delivery service of its own, it has started to use Whole Foods, and its Prime shopping and streaming media service as a mean to add new customers in the sector.
"We're going to gain customers who might not have access to a brick-and-mortar store", he said.