New strategies and formats are popping up left and right as retailers work to navigate the industry’s current challenges. Delivery and pickup are now considered essential services for all, and the grocery supply chain is changing as a result. Walmart is one retail heavyweight on the frontlines of this effort, recently launching its new Express Delivery service, bringing more items from the store than ever before to shoppers’ doors in less than two hours.
“We know our customers’ lives have changed during this pandemic, and so has the way they shop,” said Janey Whiteside, Chief Customer Officer. “We also know when we come out of this, customers will be busier than ever, and sometimes that will call for needing supplies in a hurry. COVID-19 has prompted us to launch Express Delivery even faster so that we’re here for our customers today and in the future.”
According to a press release, Walmart has accelerated the development of the service in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, having piloted Express Delivery in 100 stores since mid-April. The service will expand to nearly 1,000 stores early this month and will be available in nearly 2,000 total stores in the following weeks. Express Delivery allows customers to order across more than 160,000 items from Walmart’s food, consumables, and general merchandise assortments such as groceries and everyday essentials.
Express Delivery joins Walmart’s popular pickup and delivery offerings, all three of which are no-contact services for the customer. The new service relies on the retailer’s team of 74,000 personal shoppers who will pick customers’ orders. This includes additional personal shoppers hired specifically for Express Delivery. Walmart will utilize its existing lineup of delivery providers to take orders from a store to customers’ doors. Like Walmart’s pickup and delivery services, there is no markup on items.
Express Delivery also builds on the existing inventory of pickup and delivery slots available to customers, creating more opportunity for customers to shop Walmart when and how they want.
“We have an opportunity to serve our customers no matter what life calls for,” said Tom Ward, Senior Vice President, Customer Product. “Whether it be a last-minute ingredient, medicine when a fever hits, or the item you didn’t know you needed when checking off your chore list, time matters. Express is a solve for that.”
To get started, shoppers can go to the Walmart website or app and search their ZIP code to see if Express Delivery is offered in their area. Here’s how it works:
As retailers continue to navigate the novel coronavirus, we at Deli Market News will be sure to keep you up to date on the latest.