1:50 PM, Sep 12, 2019 — Walmart (WMT) said Thursday it will expand its grocery membership delivery program to 1,400 stores this fall in the retail giant’s push to compete with Amazon.com (AMZN).
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart said customers can pay $12.95 a month or $98 a year to receive unlimited grocery deliveries. Customers can still pay a per-delivery fee without a membership, it added.
“Grocery Delivery takes convenience to a new level, and our customers love it,” said Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s chief customer officer. “With Delivery Unlimited, we’re providing incredible value for our customers and leveraging our unique assets to save them both time and money.”
Walmart said it began testing its Delivery Unlimited membership earlier this year in Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City and Tampa, and the expansion will reach the 200 metro areas where grocery delivery is currently available. It said the service will be available at more than 1,600 stores by the end of the year, covering more than 50% of the US.
The company said customers can place their orders for fresh food, pantry staples and certain general merchandise online or on its Walmart Grocery app, adding that the prices will match those in its stores.
“We’ve been investing in our online grocery business by quickly expanding our grocery pickup and delivery services,” said Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of digital operations. “Delivery Unlimited is the next step in that journey. By pairing our size and scale and these services we’re making Walmart the easiest place to shop.”
Thursday’s announcement is Walmart’s push to expand its home delivery operations, an area dominated by Amazon’s Prime membership which provides unlimited delivery for a $119 a year in addition to other services, such as access to video content.
Walmart in June said it will roll out its InHome delivery service this fall in which employees will take groceries into customers’ homes. It said employees would wear cameras that would help customers control access to their homes and remotely watch the delivery.
The service will begin in Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach, Fla., the company has said.
Walmart in May began offering free next-day shipping on 220,000 items with no minimum purchase or membership, almost three weeks after Amazon said it was working on a one-day option. Amazon introduced one-day shipping on 10 million products in early June.
Companies: Walmart Inc.
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