Walmart steps up Amazon battle with nationwide grocery delivery

Walmart to expand grocery delivery business to 800 stores by year's end

With all those new cities, the service will eventually reach 40 percent of United States households, the company said. It will continue to offer its collection service for online orders too, which allows customers to fill their grocery basket from home or the Walmart app, and then have the bags loaded into their vehicle at the store.

Walmart's online shopping service employs more than 18,000 personal shoppers and said it will add "thousands more" this year.

Although Walmart says delivery will be available same-day for customers, it doesn't break out one- and two-hour timeframes like its close competitors.

Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service across the USA this year, the company announced Wednesday. Walmart plans to use about 800 stores to operate the service. In contrast, Google Express - which also supports Walmart among multiple other stores - offers free delivery for orders that meet the minimum spend of each store.

"'We are gaining new customers who might not have had access to Walmart previously, ' Ward said about what he's learned from the pilot test of grocery delivery thus far". Due to its proximity to customers, Walmart could use its physical locations as a distribution hub to leverage its supply chain and provide faster deliveries.

In February Amazon unveiled free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods purchases for Prime members in four markets - Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach.

Ward noted that Walmart is learning from its delivery services in such countries as China and the United Kingdom.

Amazon also is looking to leverage its own grocery footprint following its blockbuster $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods a year ago.

Since there are no local stores, grocery orders in NY will be fulfilled by Jet, the e-retailer Walmart bought in 2016 for $3 billion.

Groceries can be delivered to customers as soon as the same day.

Last month, Walmart shares got slammed as the company said online revenue growth slowed in the most recent quarter, raising questions about its ability to compete with Amazon. The service is for customers who don't want to go into a Walmart to shop.

Walmart says products ordered through the service, which include its full grocery assortment, will be the same price as in the store. All customers have to do is use the special promo code "FRESHCAR" when making their first order.

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