Following up a soft launch before the summer, Walmart plans to expand a subscription-based, unlimited-delivery option for its online grocery service to 1,400 stores later this fall.
Called Delivery Unlimited, the service enables customers to pay an annual $98 fee or a monthly $12.95 fee to make unlimited Walmart online grocery orders, Walmart said Thursday. Shoppers will continue to have the option to pay a per-delivery fee without a membership.
The Delivery Unlimited membership comes with a free 15-day trial. There’s no limit on deliveries for orders of $30 or more.
News that Walmart had quietly introduced unlimited grocery delivery emerged in June, when the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer confirmed that it was testing Delivery Unlimited in four cities: Houston, Salt Lake City, Miami and Tampa, Fla. Now, based on positive feedback from customers, Walmart said it’s expanding the program to all 200 metropolitan areas where the Walmart Grocery Delivery service is available.
“We’ve been investing in our online grocery business by quickly expanding our Grocery Pickup and Delivery services. Delivery Unlimited is the next step in that journey,” Tom Ward, senior vice president of digital operations for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “By pairing our size and scale and these services, we’re making Walmart the easiest place for to shop. Combine that with the value we can provide, our customers can’t lose.”
During fiscal 2019, Walmart expanded same-day grocery delivery to approximately 800 stores and free grocery pickup to more than 2,100 stores in the United States. By the end of this year, Walmart expects to have same-day grocery delivery available at 1,600 stores and free grocery pickup at 3,100 stores. The company said the expansion will enlarge its online grocery coverage of the U.S. population to 50% for same-day delivery and almost 80% for pickup.
Delivery Unlimited will expand along with the rollout of grocery delivery. Walmart said the unlimited delivery option is slated to be available in over 1,600 stores and more than half of the country by the end of the year. Pickup is now available in nearly 3,000 stores.
“Grocery Delivery takes convenience to a new level, and our customers love it. With Delivery Unlimited, we’re providing incredible value for our customers and leveraging our unique assets to save them both time and money,” according to Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside.
Through Walmart Grocery Delivery, accessed via Walmart.com/grocery or the Walmart Grocery app, customers can order fresh produce, meat, seafood and bakery items as well as pantry staples, consumables and select general merchandise. Walmart noted that its online grocery service, for which it employs more than 45,000 personal shoppers, offers the same everyday-low prices available in stores.
With Delivery Unlimited, Walmart targeting the subscription-based online grocery delivery services offered by Instacart, Target and Amazon.
Instacart’s Express membership costs $99 a year and offers unlimited grocery deliveries on orders of $35 or more. There’s also a $9.99 monthly option. Target’s Shipt runs $99 for a yearly membership and $14 per month for unlimited deliveries, with a $35 order minimum. An Amazon Prime membership — which provides access to Prime Now same-day grocery delivery (including from Whole Foods Market) — now costs $99 annually, and a $12.99 monthly plan is available. Customers get unlimited grocery deliveries on orders of $35 or more under Prime Now.