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Walmart steps up Amazon battle with nationwide grocery delivery


Walmart is expanding its home grocery delivery service to 100 metro areas by the end of the year, and will also offer same-day delivery in New York City. Cowen researchers saying past year that food and beverage sales online account for just 4 percent of total sales in the category, and online accounted for only 9 percent of sales for consumables like toothpaste and household goods. But it is facing competition for online delivery of grocery purchases.

Walmart is taking its grocery delivery program nationwide as the company steps up its battle with e-commerce behemoth Amazon.

The home delivery service requires a $9.99 flat rate on top of the value of the groceries, but customers have to spend at least $30 on their items if they want home delivery. It's available in 1,200 stores right now with 1,000 more being added before the end of the year. Amazon recently debuted free two-hour Prime Now grocery delivery from Whole Foods in four cities, free for its annual $99 Prime subscribers. Same-day delivery will be available, subject to when an order is placed.

The retailer will use its own "personal shoppers" to pick orders and will crowd-source delivery through Uber and other providers. Households will be able to purchase fresh produce, meat, seafood and bakery items, as well as pantry staples and general merchandise online at everyday low prices through Walmart.com/grocery or the company's mobile app. Before committing to a national expansion, Walmart had to first figure out how to cut shipping costs and make grocery delivery a more efficient and scalable part of its business.

Читайте также: Putin on alleged Russian interference in US elections

According to Walmart, 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, so they see this as a way of serving their customers in "a way that no one else can".

The retailer employs more than 18,000 personal shoppers that power the program with thousands more being added this year.

Offering expanded online grocery delivery is an "informed gamble" for Walmart, Knemeyer said, one that will likely serve up side benefits such as data collection and inroads into the affluent urban consumer base.

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