Walmart’s warehouse chain — Sam’s Club — has announced that it intends to offer home delivery of grocery goods through a new tie-in with Instacart. The expanded service will be online and available for consumers in the Dallas-Forth Worth area in Texas and in St. Louis. Orders can include fresh product or small appliance delivery — and can be accessed by customers who are not presently Sam’s Club members.
The move comes shortly after the news that Amazon will be leveraging its nearly $14 billion purchase of Whole Foods to offer essentially free grocery delivery to customers in range of their stores. The move also comes as Sam’s CEO, John Furner, is searching for way to help the warehouse business standout — as opposed to struggle. Struggle is more in line with its historical MO.
Sam’s recently consolidated its membership structure, shut about a tenth of its stores and laid off more than 10,000 workers.
Walmart is the biggest grocery vendor in the U.S. — and it is taking something of a piecemeal approach to getting delivery off the ground. In January, Walmart kicked off the year with the acquisition of same-day New York City delivery company Parcel. They’ve also tested delivery with Uber and Deliv, as well as experimenting with their own trucks in Denver. Walmart does not directly partner with Instacart.
Amazon, for its part, has about an 18 percent share of the $12.6 billion online grocery market in the United States – netted mainly by the sale of CPG like cereal and diaper. But the segment is expected to balloon to $41.7 billion by 2022, according to market research firm Packaged Facts — and Amazon is well positioned to be the dominant player in the space.
Walmart comes in at No. 2 with 9 percent, followed by Ahold USA’s Peapod at 7 percent, FreshDirect with 6 percent and Instacart at 5 percent, Packaged Facts said.