Walmart Launches All-New "Express" Two-Hour Delivery Service
While millions of Americans follow social-distancing and lockdown guidelines, the world's largest retailer is launching an express home delivery service. In a Thursday announcement, Walmart revealed a new "Express Delivery" service that pledges to have groceries at your home in a two-hour window.
Walmart announced they had "accelerated the development of the service in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, piloting Express Delivery in 100 stores since mid-April." According to Walmart, the service will expand to nearly 1,000 stores as soon as early May and will be available in nearly 2,000 total stores in the following weeks.
It's not just groceries that Walmart is offering to deliver in two hours. "Express Delivery allows customers to order across more than 160,000 items from Walmart's food, consumables and general merchandise assortment such as groceries, everyday essentials, toys and electronics," the statement noted.
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This new announcement positions Walmart to compete directly with Amazon's Prime and Fresh products (the latter through Whole Foods chain they acquired in 2017). Online ordering and home delivery or curbside pick-up have seen a sharp increase in usage as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and the dangers that come with grocery shopping.
Walmart has aggressively addressed coronavirus concerns with both shoppers and staffers, instituting a number of policies designed to manage the public health risk. Some policies have been more popular than others.
Read the full press release below:
BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 30, 2020 — Today, Walmart is announcing Express Delivery, a new service that delivers more items from the store than ever before to customers' doors in less than two hours.
Walmart has accelerated the development of the service in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, piloting Express Delivery in 100 stores since mid-April. The service will expand to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and will be available in nearly 2,000 total stores in the following weeks. Express Delivery allows customers to order across more than 160,000 items from Walmart's food, consumables and general merchandise assortment such as groceries, everyday essentials, toys and electronics.
"We know our customers' lives have changed during this pandemic, and so has the way they shop," said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart. "We also know when we come out of this, customers will be busier than ever, and sometimes that will call for needing supplies in a hurry. COVID-19 has prompted us to launch Express Delivery even faster so that we're here for our customers today and in the future."
Walmart's Express Delivery joins the retailer's popular pickup and delivery offerings, all three of which are no-contact services for the customer. It relies on the retailer's team of 74,000 personal shoppers who will pick customers' orders. This includes additional personal shoppers hired specifically for Express Delivery. Walmart will utilize its existing lineup of delivery providers to take orders from a store to customers' doors. The service will cost $10 on top of the existing delivery charge. Walmart's Delivery Unlimited customers will simply pay a $10 fee per Express Delivery. Like Walmart's pickup and delivery services, there is no markup on items – an item is priced the same as it is on the shelf.
Express Delivery also builds on the existing inventory of pickup and delivery slots available to customers, creating more opportunity for customers to shop Walmart when and how they want.
"We have an opportunity to serve our customers no matter what life calls for," said Tom Ward, senior vice president, Customer Product. "Whether it be a last-minute ingredient, medicine when a fever hits, or the item you didn't know you needed when checking off your chore list, time matters. Express is a solve for that."
To get started, customers go to walmart.com/grocery or the Walmart app and search their ZIP code to see if Express Delivery is offered in their area. Here's how it works:
User Friendly Shopping: When customers are creating their order, the search feature at the top of the screen makes it easy to directly search for the exact item they need to add to their cart.
At Checkout, select Express: Customers proceed to check out, selecting Express Delivery. They will then pay for their order and sit back and wait for their delivery to arrive!
Delivery: A delivery driver picks the order up at the store. They deliver to the customer within two hours. No money is exchanged at the door.