Walmart is relaunching its delivery service that brings groceries into the refrigerators of customers.
Reuters, citing Marc Lore, head of U.S. eCommerce for the retailer, said the move is aimed at finding new ways to offer cheap and speedy online delivery. Walmart began testing the refrigerators delivery service back in 2017 through a partnership with August Home, a smart security company, and Deliv, the delivery company. The test ended in 2018, noted Reuters. In February Reuters reported Walmart ended its delivery deal with Deliv the month earlier and that it would partner with seven other companies for delivery, including DoorDash and Postmates. Deliv was frustrated because drivers had to often wait around 4o minutes or longer to get the grocery orders when they arrived at Walmart for pick up. Walmart prioritizes customers over the delivery drivers during regular business hours, which results in the drivers waiting.
Instead of using a third-party delivery service, Walmart will tap its own workers who have been employed with the company for at least one year. The employees use their own vehicles to deliver food. In order to gain access to customers’ homes, Walmart relies on tech and a wearable camera. Customers control access to their home and can watch the delivery from wherever they are. The service will launch to more than one million customers in Kansas City, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Vero Beach, Florida in the fall.
In May Walmart announced it’s expanding its eCommerce next-day delivery to more areas of the U.S. as it pushes back on Amazon’s one-day delivery expansion plans. The retailer started offering free next-day shipping for around 200,000 products for customers living in Phoneix, Las Vegas, and Southern California. More areas will get the free one-day shipping during 2019. Customers have to place orders of $35 or more. Orders are shipped in one box to address complaints from customers about receiving multiple boxes.