Walmart is launching its grocery delivery service in Chicago next week, joining other chains in the area already offering the option.
Amazon has also launched grocery delivery through its Whole Foods Market, initially only available in four markets: Virginia Beach, Austin, Dallas and Cincinnati. Last month, however, the company announced it was expanding the service into Denver, Sacramento and San Diego.
Walmart’s huge inventory and affordable prices gives it a significant leg up in the Chicago area. The retail giant already offers pickup in 28 local stores.
“As the battle increases, Amazon and Walmart are really going to drive down prices and speed up delivery … As consumers, we’re winning this game,” said Phil Lempert, a grocery store analyst who runs the Supermarket Guru website.
Earlier this month, Walmart announced it was planning to offer home delivery of groceries in 100 cities in the U.S. by the end of 2018. With the new program, the grocery orders will be put together by staff at Walmart and then handed off to a delivery company or startup that will be tapped to deliver the groceries to consumers’ homes.
Walmart’s grocery service offers same-day delivery within a one-hour window for a flat fee of $9.95. Chicago is the 11th metropolitan area to get the new service, which will also be available in some suburban areas.
By the end of 2018, Walmart plans to expand grocery delivery to around 800 stores, covering about 40 percent of the U.S. population, CEO Doug McMillon said on Thursday (May 17).
“The eCommerce food business we’ve been building is important not only because of the volume it’s driving but, strategically, it’s helping to grow the number of omnichannel customers we serve… Customers love to have choices in how they shop and we’re positioning to serve them well,” McMillon said.