US retail giant Walmart has established a partnership with logistics service provider Postmates to expand its grocery delivery business.
The Walmart Online Grocery Delivery service, which will deliver online grocery orders directly to the shoppers’ homes, will be launched in Charlotte, North Carolina, with plans to cover more than 40 percent of US households by the year-end.
With the help of Walmart’s personal shoppers and Postmates’ delivery network, thousands of Charlotte customers will be able to shop for fresh groceries and have them delivered to their doorsteps, Walmart said in a statement.
Personal shoppers will undergo a three-week training program “learning how to select the freshest produce and the best cuts of meat for Online Grocery customers”.
Charlotte customers can place their orders through Walmart’s website or Walmart grocery app, and after orders have been picked by Walmart’s personal shoppers, a member of the Postmates Fleet will retrieve the orders from a Walmart store and deliver them straight to the customers’ doorsteps.
The service charges US$9.95 fee with a minimum order requirement of US$30. “Groceries can be delivered to customers as soon as the same day,” the company said.
Customers may also pick up the groceries themselves after making their orders, thus avoiding paying a delivery charge.
“With our growing fleet of 160,000 couriers, we are confident that we’ll be providing Walmart customers with the ultimate convenience,” said Dan Mosher, Postmates senior vice president, merchant lead.
TechCrunch notes that Walmart’s delivery service offers a competitive advantage over some rivals, including same-day delivery companies like Instacart and Shipt, as “it does not mark up the cost of goods, nor does it require a subscription”.
Walmart’s grocery delivery service will go up against a similar move launched by Amazon, through its Prime Now scheme, after it acquired Whole Foods supermarket chain in July last year.
But instead of rolling out its own delivery service, Walmart has been recruiting partners such as Uber and Deliv in select markets across the United States in order to quickly scale up the operation.
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