Instacart serves Walmart, Amazon, Costco and more. With Walmart being the US' largest grocer, the move may help the retailer fight Amazon from one of its strongest positions.
After testing out grocery delivery over the past two years in six United States markets, the largest retailer in the world said Wednesday it will bring the service to more than 100 metro areas in the U.S. over the coming months.
Walmart (WMT) will offer home grocery delivery to 100 metro areas, or 40% of the USA population, by year-end to compete with Amazon.com (AMZN), Kroger (KR), Costco Wholesale (COST), Target (TGT) and others expanding similar services.
Tom Ward, vice president of Walmart's digital operations, says the retail giant is powering the expansion of its same-day delivery service using its online grocery pickup program.
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. Whole Foods also now offers delivery through Instacart, which ships groceries for Kroger, Acme and Costco, too.Target late previous year bought online grocery delivery startup Shipt for $550 million, adding to the competition. It will add curbside pickup to 1,000 more locations by the end of the year, Ward said. "We'll leverage our footprint where it makes the most sense to reach as many people with the services as we can". There has been plenty of activity from retailers like Walmart and others in the grocery delivery space to support it. It's now using 18,000 personal shoppers.
In Walmart's case, the orders will be picked by in-store employees, who will receive three weeks of additional training. 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.
"We are gaining new customers who might not have had access to Walmart previously", Ward said about what he's learned from the pilot test of grocery delivery thus far.
New customers can get their first order delivered for free with the promotional code "FRESHCAR".