Walmart is expanding its efforts to take on Amazon, planning to offer home delivery of groceries in 100 cities in the U.S. by the end of 2018.
Citing a spokesman for the national retailer, The Wall Street Journal reported it will also roll out same day delivery in New York City, something it has resisted in the past but is seeing competitors Amazon, Kroger and Target embrace. 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 is using Uber as one of its early partners as part of an expansion of a test it started back in 2016, reported the WSJ. Other delivery companies will be added to the service during the course of 2018. It currently offers home delivery of groceries via Uber and Deliv in six cities, noted the report. The service will cost $9.95 and requires a $30 minimum order.
For its same-day delivery service in New York City, Walmart plans to use Jet, the Internet-based retailer it acquired in 2016. Jet is in its own expansion mode, planning to provide speedy delivery of groceries to roughly ten big cities that Walmart isn’t in. The paper pointed to San Francisco as one example. People familiar with the plan told the WSJ that Jet hasn't nailed down the details of its expansion plans yet.
The move on the part of Walmart is defensive in nature. While home delivery and same-day delivery services can cost retailers, it's becoming a necessity to offer them. Costco, Kroger and a handful of other retailers have been expanding their in-home delivery services, adding more products and partners. They are making buys like Target's recent acquisition of Shipt, an Instacart rival, all in response to Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods Market. The Wall Street Journal pointed out in the past month alone Amazon has rolled out home delivery of Whole Foods products in six metro areas. As it ramps that up, the retailers have no choice but to respond.