Following a recent pilot program, Walmart is rolling out Express Delivery, a new online service offering home delivery of a wide range of groceries and other products from the store in less than two hours.
Walmart said Friday that it has been testing Express Delivery at 100 stores since mid-April, accelerating development of the service because of the coronavirus pandemic. Plans call for the fee-based service to reach nearly 1,000 stores in early May and then almost 2,000 stores in the ensuing weeks.
Through Express Delivery, customers can use the Walmart mobile app or go online to walmart.com/grocery to order from a selection of more than 160,000 items, including food, groceries, daily essentials and other consumables as well as general merchandise, toys and electronics. And like Walmart’s other pickup and delivery offerings, Express Delivery provides no-contact service, the company noted.
“We know our customers’ lives have changed during this pandemic, and so has the way they shop,” Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer at Walmart, said in a statement. “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 said Express Delivery leverages its team of 74,000 personal shoppers — including additional shoppers hired specifically for the new service — to pick customers’ orders. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer added that it will tap its current roster of delivery providers to bring orders from a store to customers’ doors.
According to Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product at Walmart, Express Delivery expands the availability of pickup and delivery slots, giving customers more flexibility to shop when and how they want.
“We have an opportunity to serve our customers no matter what life calls for,” Ward explained. “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 use Express Delivery, customers go to walmart.com/grocery or use the Walmart app and search their ZIP code to see if the service is offered in their area. They then begin filling their virtual cart, aided by a search feature at the top of the screen makes it easier to find the exact items they need, Walmart said. At checkout, customers select Express Delivery and then pay for their order. A delivery driver picks the order up at the store and delivers it the customer within two hours.
Express Delivery carries a $10 fee in addition to the existing delivery charge, Walmart said. Customers enrolled in the Walmart Delivery Unlimited service pay just the $10 fee for Express Delivery.
Walmart added that, like its other online pickup and delivery services, Express Delivery has no markup on products, which are priced the same as in stores.
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