Walmart's online same-day grocery ready for prime

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Walmart Inc (WMT.N) will expand its grocery home delivery services to reach more than 40 percent of US households, or 100 metro areas from an existing six, as the retailer steps up a fight against rival Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O). That means it will be making deliveries from 800 stores in total.

The Walmart delivery service costs $9.95 per order and requires a $30 minimum purchase.

He said Walmart will be "aggressive" with the rollout and plans to eventually make the service available to all of its United States shoppers.

"We are gaining new customers who might not have had access to Walmart previously", Ward said about what he's learned from the pilot test of grocery delivery thus far.

Ward noted that Walmart is learning from its delivery services in such countries as China and the United Kingdom.

Walmart and Amazon's duel for retail dominion is showing little sign of slowing down. The news is the latest salvo in Walmart's quickly escalating war with Amazon, which just last month announced Whole Foods grocery delivery was available via Prime Now.

Walmart's new service could also be a response to Amazon's $13.2 billion purchase a year ago of Whole Foods.

Stores that already offer grocery pick-up will be the first to unroll delivery. Walmart said its online sales are still on track to rise 40 percent this year.

Shipt started delivering groceries from Publix Super Markets in 2015. Select alcohol is also available for delivery to customers.

Walmart also will use Jet, the Hoboken, NJ-based web retailer it acquired in 2016, to offer a same-day grocery-delivery service in New York City to compete with Amazon's Prime Now same-day delivery service, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). The company said no subscription is required. "We know organics are important to our Online Grocery customers", said a spokesperson in an email.

Amazon is now rolling out free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries in six cities to Prime members who pay $99 a year.

Customers can order groceries online through Walmart's website or through the company's dedicated grocery app. Walmart's network of personal shoppers then gather the items in each order and prep them for delivery.

Other big grocers, such as Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp., use Instacart Inc.'s personal shoppers to handle deliveries.

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