In power move, Walmart expands Delivery Unlimited
Walmart announced today that it is expanding its grocery delivery subscription program, Delivery Unlimited, to 1,400 stores across the country. Customers at select locations will have the option of paying a yearly fee of $98 or $12.95 a month to entitle them to delivery of an unlimited number of grocery orders from the retailing giant. Walmart customers will also have the option to pay as they go for individual deliveries instead of joining the subscription plan.
The retailer decided to roll out its subscription plan after conducting pilots in Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City and Tampa earlier this year. Walmart found the results in its tests so promising that it made the decision to expand it to all 200 metropolitan markets where it currently delivers groceries. That means that more than 1,600 stores covering about half of the country will have the service in place by the end of the year. Walmart is offering a free 15-day membership to get customers to trial the service.
“We’ve been investing in our online grocery business by quickly expanding our Grocery Pickup and Delivery services. Delivery Unlimited is the next step in that journey,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president, digital operations, Walmart U.S., in a statement. “By pairing our size and scale and these services we’re making Walmart the easiest place to shop. Combine that with the value we can provide, our customers can’t lose.”
The retailer uses personal shoppers to fulfill orders placed online or through its mobile app. Delivery is handled by various delivery services.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon emphasized the importance of the chain’s stores as distribution centers during a speech at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in July.
“One of the realities of fresh and perishable food is if you don’t sell it, you throw it away or give it away,” Mr. McMillon said (via Fortune). “When you have a store environment and you have fresh or perishable food so close to people, those stores then become dual store and pick centers.”
In addition to 1,600 stores that make home deliveries, Walmart offers grocery pickup at 3,100 locations across the country.
With its Delivery Unlimited plan, Walmart competes directly with Target, which offers same-day deliveries on groceries and other items from Shipt for an annual fee of $99. Amazon also offers same-day delivery to its Prime members ($119 annual fee) from Whole Foods’ locations around the country.
- Walmart to Roll Out Delivery Unlimited to More than 1,400 Stores Across the Country – Walmart
- CEO says Walmart’s stores are the answer to Amazon – at least for groceries – RetailWire
- Walmart debuts store-to-fridge fresh food delivery service – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will Delivery Unlimited mean for Walmart’s grocery business? Will Walmart’s offer draw grocery customers away from Amazon, Target and regional grocers?