In an effort to keep up with Amazon and their Grocery Delivery Service Amazon Fresh, Walmart will be expanding its own Grocery Delivery Service to 100 cities. Currently, Walmart only delivers online grocery orders to 6 markets but now hope to expand by the end of the year.
The Walmart grocery delivery service will cost $9.95 per order with a $30 minimum purchase requirement. Amazon on the other hand, charges a monthly fee of $14.99 for AmazonFresh Membership which is only available if you’re an Amazon Prime Member which costs $99 per year. You can sign up for a free trial of AmazonFresh here. In addition, Amazon owns Whole Foods, which it acquired last summer for over $13 Billion, and hope to have free two hour delivery of purchases for Prime Members by the end of the year. It has already unveiled this service in six cities: San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Virginia Beach. To keep up in New York City where they have no store, Walmart will use its subsidiary Jet to offer same day delivery service in the 5 Boroughs.
Customers will be able to make their orders directly from Walmart’s Grocery page and have the option at checkout for delivery. Alternatively, customers can select curbside pickup which is free for everyone. When a customer makes an online delivery order, a worker will pack the order at the store and hand it to a delivery company to drop it off by the customer. This service is in stark contrast to the plan Walmart Executives laid out last year where it wanted their employees to deliver online orders on their way home from work.
This is the latest salvo in the Amazon-Walmart rivalry. Last year, the two retail giants went head to head on multiple occasions from fluctuating their free shipping thresh-hold to offering pick-up and no-rush shipping discounts. This rivalry though has taken a backseat in 2018 to the budding rivalry between Amazon and Google.
While online grocery purchases account for a very small fraction of the overall grocery purchases on the market, it has been rapidly increasing at an incredible rate. Companies have learned from other markets of how you have to be preemptive as opposed to reactive. Toys R’ Us was the latest company that couldn’t keep up with the online boom, announcing Tuesday it would close all remaining stores in the U.S.
From the looks of things early on, it appears Walmart will be the more affordable option of the two as there won’t any membership charges for their delivery service. Furthermore, their grocery prices are expected to be the same online as they are in store. But it remains to be seen what the inevitable Amazon response will be to this big Walmart move.
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