Walmart has announced plans to massively expand its online grocery delivery service by the end of the year, by which time, the company hopes to serve more than 40 percent of U.S. households. This is another attempt by the retailer to compete with Amazon who – via their Prime service – can make deliveries on behalf of several different retailers.
Consumers can place their order either on Walmart’s website or through the store’s grocery app. According to Tech Crunch, they can then pick up their groceries from the store the same day, or have them delivered for a flat rate of $9.95. The flat rate is key for Walmart; other food retailers – like Trader Joe’s – also offer a delivery service in select regions, but the cost will fluctuate depending on a particular delivery zone.
Despite Walmart having garnered a reputation amongst its most devout shoppers as a place where they can buy just about anything for cheap, that appears to not be the case when it comes to groceries. That’s likely why the company is trying so hard to double down on their delivery service; according to a report by The Morning Call, Amazon’s food prices are almost 23 percent lower than those at Walmart.
As the book industry, among many others, has found out, Amazon is a formidable foe. Since the launch of Amazon Prime, the service is estimated to have served more than 80 million customers worldwide. Moreover, according to Business Insider, 53 percent of Amazon’s purchases are made through Prime, and the service is in about 43 percent of all U.S. households. Amazon sells cheaper food, and they have a lead over Walmart in terms of accommodating consumer’s increased desire for food delivery.
Even as Walmart offers one of the cheaper delivery services on the market, they’re having trouble keeping up with Jeff Bezos’ giant. Regardless, before the year is up, Walmart plans to employ thousands of new personal shoppers and add them to their already impressive roster of 18,000.
However, until the company figures out a way to lower their food prices, it won’t matter how many people it can reach; Amazon’s more affordable service will continue to reign supreme.