In a blog post written as the retailer held its annual general meeting, Michael Bender, EVP and chief operating officer, Walmart global e-commerce, said: “Walmart will start with tests of grocery delivery through Uber and Lyft, which we expect to start within the next two weeks in Denver and one other market. This is in addition to a very quiet Sam’s Club pilot that started in March with Deliv involving delivery of general merchandise and grocery for business members in Miami.
So how does it work?
According to Bender: “A customer in one of the test locations places their grocery order online and selects a delivery window. Our personal shoppers… will carefully select and prepare their order. Then, our team may request a driver from one of these services to come to the store, pick up the customer’s order, and take it directly to the customer’s location.”
He added: “It’s all seamless to the customer. They pay us our normal $7-10 delivery charge online, and make no payment to the driver. We’ll also let them know their order is being delivered by a driver from Uber or Lyft.”
Grocery pick-up service expanding
Speaking at Walmart's Q1, 2017 earnings call on May 19, president and CEO Doug McMillon said the US grocery pick-up service - enabling customers to order online and collect their own goods at the store - "continues to receive high marks from customers and we're continuing to expand it."
He added: "I'm pleased to share we're announcing nine new markets today bringing our total number of markets to nearly 40 by the end of this month. In addition, in some markets, we will double the number of stores that offer the service locally in May. We expect to continue to quickly expand to new markets."
"We’re always looking at how emerging technology can enhance our supply chain. Last year, we started a special team to help us do that. Some of the technology we’re looking at includes augmented reality, virtual reality, micro-warehouses, hyperlocal distribution centers and drones."
Jennifer Deshields, Walmart Digital Communications, June 2, 2016