Walmart to expand grocery delivery business to 800 stores by year's end

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Walmart has focused on improving the freshness and quality of its assortment the past several years, while aggressively lowering prices on items and rolling out convenience-based services like its online grocery pickup for customers.

The largest US retailer is leveraging its stores to roll out online grocery deliveries from 800 Walmart stores by the end of the year.

Walmart's home grocery delivery service will expand from six cities now.

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

Walmart also plans to increase the number of its stores offering curbside grocery pickups by 1,000 to 2,200 by year-end.

Walmart (WMT) will offer home grocery delivery to 100 metro areas, or 40% of the USA population, by year-end to compete with (AMZN), Kroger (KR), Costco Wholesale (COST), Target (TGT) and others expanding similar services. Target Corp., meanwhile, agreed to acquire delivery startup Shipt a year ago to expand its capabilities.

"We will. reach as many households as we can", Ward said. It will offer shoppers same-day delivery of fresh produce, meat and seafood, along with non-perishable items. "We'll leverage our footprint where it makes the most sense to reach as many people with the services as we can".

To order groceries online from and have them delivered, a shopper will pay a flat delivery fee of $9.95, and a basket must contain at least $30 worth of items.

Walmart is making a major push into online grocery delivery. 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. "We're serving our customers in ways that no one else can". While only one in three shoppers now purchase groceries online for home delivery, about six in ten expect to use it more in the next five years, according to a survey of 1,100 people conducted by industry researcher Field Agent. The test included five other markets: Phoenix; Denver; San Jose, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; and Orlando, Fla.