In Challenge To Amazon, Walmart Will Deliver Groceries In Over 100 Cities

In Challenge To Amazon, Walmart Will Deliver Groceries In Over 100 Cities

In a statement, theBentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant claimed that the expansion of its same-day home delivery service from six markets to 100 metropolitan areas will enable it to serve more than 40 percent of US households.

Walmart's grocery delivery business will be supported by a number of partners, including Uber, the company said on Wednesday.

The move into home delivery is part of Walmart's broader push to get more of its in-store shoppers to start buying online as well, where they typically spend twice as much. Ward said the home-delivery service has brought in new customers in the six cities where it's now offered, which include Dallas and San Jose, California.

Walmart plans to use its team of personal shoppers to pull together orders in stores and will team up with crowdsourced delivery services including Uber to send groceries.

Walmart (WMT) will offer home grocery delivery to 100 metro areas, or 40% of the US population, by year-end to compete with Amazon.com (AMZN), Kroger (KR), Costco Wholesale (COST), Target (TGT) and others expanding similar services.

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"We're moving fast", Tom Ward, Walmart's vice president of digital operations, said in an interview.

"We will. reach as many households as we can", Ward said.

Online grocery shopping is forecast to grow to $100 million, or $850 per household, by 2022, according to a study by the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen. Orders can also be placed via a Walmart Grocery app. He also said Tuesday that the company now employs more than 18,000 personal shoppers with additional hires planned as both grocery pickup and delivery services are rolled out to a larger audience this year.

Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion a year ago, recently introduced two-hour grocery delivery from Whole Foods to its Prime members in four cities - Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; Dallas; and Virginia Beach, Va. - with further expansion expected. Walmart said more delivery companies will be announced later.

At the same time, Walmart is expanding its online shopping with a curbside pickup option available at 1,200 stores. "We're serving our customers in ways that no one else can".

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