Walmart Is Doubling Down on This Service Right Now
E-commerce is booming due to the COVID 19-pandemic—and Walmart is looking to get into the game even further.
America's largest retailer is focusing on adding new ways to offer shoppers home delivery. To do so, it's building more automated fulfillment centers attached to existing stores.
Walmart is planning 100 small, automated fulfillment centers that hold and move commonly purchased items online with a system of mechanical shuttles. This will help the chain fulfill more online orders without packing store aisles with workers picking up virtual orders.
During the height of the pandemic, e-commerce sales surged as people avoided shopping in person. Huge demand led to Americans struggling to find items such as cleaning supplies and toilet paper. But online growth has slowed in recent months as shoppers have started returning to physical visits to the store.
In 2020, Walmart rolled out a two-hour home delivery service called Express Delivery. Last year, Walmart increased its delivery services by almost 20% and plans to bump that growth up by about 35% this year, a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal.
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Walmart Express Delivery is available from more than 3,400 of Walmart's 4,700 U.S. stores for a $10 fee.
A key factor to Walmart's additional plans is a service that brings orders inside a shopper's home called In-Home Delivery. The service will be available to around 30 million customers by the end of this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The membership will cost $148 annually.
Workers who make deliveries must have been with the company for at least a year, undergo a background check, and wear body cameras during deliveries. This is a major move for the brand—but it's not something new to the grocery industry.
In the comments section of The Wall Street Journal article about Walmart's plans, many praised the company for making delivery a more accessible and convenient option during the pandemic.
"Walmart and team: thank you for helping me get through the pandemic with no worries about having food and household supplies," one commenter said. "I'm a regular customer of Walmart delivery."
"Today, my go-to place is Walmart for pretty much everything and anything," another commenter said. "The food is always fresh, the produce is better than most, and I can order from one day to the next and find it on my doorstep in the morning."
For more on Walmart, check out Walmart Is Making These 5 Major Changes Right Now.