Walmart is set to launch grocery delivery in the Seattle area as it continues to expand the new service across the nation and battle rivals like Amazon and Instacart.
Walmart in March first announced its plan to expand grocery delivery from six test markets to 100 metropolitan areas, leveraging a network of more than 800 physical retail stores to fulfill customer orders. It partnered with Postmates last month as part of its delivery expansion.
The Seattle Times reported Friday that Walmart will launch delivery in Seattle this week. It will add another grocery delivery service option for customers and compete directly with Seattle-based Amazon, which offers the same service via AmazonFresh, in addition to its Amazon Fresh Pickup locations. Amazon also now offers free Whole Foods delivery for orders over $35 after its $13.7 billion acquisition of the Austin, Texas-based grocer last year.
Walmart offers same-day grocery delivery with a $9.95 fee and a minimum order of $30. For comparison, AmazonFresh requires a Prime membership — $119 per year or $12.99 per month — plus an additional $14.99 monthly fee. Instacart, which fulfills delivery for various retailers like Costco, QFC, and Albertsons, varies in price by market and time of day.
In addition to delivery, Walmart offers grocery pick-up in more than 1,200 stores nationwide, with 1,000 more to come this year. Walmart also recently announced expansion of the hulking Pickup Towers, which allow customers to order items online and retrieve them at the store.
“We have a talented team of technologists in this company and they, combined with entrepreneurial business leaders, are working to get ahead, to where customers are going,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillion said last week at the company’s associate and shareholder meeting. “We’re experimenting with the use of virtual reality to create amazing, interactive shopping experiences. We see a future where we’ll use autonomous vehicles for grocery delivery.”
Walmart, Amazon, Instacart and others are all vying to take a bite out of the $800 billion that Americans spend on groceries each year.