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Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Walmart expands grocery delivery service to 100 more cities across US

Walmart expands grocery delivery service to 100 more cities across US

Now available in just six markets, the service, which lets people order groceries online and have them delivered the same day, is slated to reach 100 metro areas across the country by the end of the year, Walmart announced Wednesday.

Canada's biggest warehouse retailer, whose grocery market share has increased substantially over the last decade along with Walmart's, introduced online grocery delivery of non-perishables to USA customers last October.

The fact that Walmart is rolling the offering out so extensively and is willing to make an investment in handling the order-picking itself demonstrates how committed the company is to being a leader in the online grocery business, said Bill Bishop, chief architect at consulting firm Brick Meets Click. "For packing the items together in stores, Walmart will use its collection of more than 18,000 'personal shoppers'".

But unlike with Prime Now, ordering groceries online from Walmart doesn't require a subscription of any kind - only a minimum order of $30.

Walmart will also expand its current grocery pickup service this year to an additional 1,000 stores. With Walmart being the US' largest grocer, the move may help the retailer fight Amazon from one of its strongest positions.

Shoppers using the delivery service will be able to make their purchases on the grocery section of Walmart's website or through the Walmart Grocery app. That means it will be making deliveries from 800 stores in total. Walmart now offers online delivery in six markets.

"Our commitment goes further than saving customers money", Tom Ward, vice president of digital operations, said. Customers place their orders online at Walmart.com/grocery or on the Walmart Grocery App.

Walmart says it will continue to use of ride-hailing services like Uber to deliver the goods to shoppers' homes as it expands its service. "We are extremely happy with the results that we have had out of the USA", he added, noting the company does not have a specific timeline in mind for the rollout.

"Say they order by 1 p.m.", Ward said, "they could have their delivery the same day in as little as three or four hours". In some cases, they can even get their order delivered on the same day.

With such strong endeavors to bolster its position in the delivery services arena, Walmart seems to be striking the right chords when it comes to competing with big box retailers and more particularly with Amazon.com AMZN.

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