Technology

Walmart Plans Big Scale-Up of In-Home Delivery

Retailer says service will be available to 30 million households by the end of the year
Walmart in-home delivery
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

Walmart plans to make in-home delivery of groceries and other goods available to 30 million U.S. households by the end of 2022, up from 6 million currently, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said Jan. 5.

The dramatic scale-up will involve hiring more than 3,000 delivery drivers and assembling a fleet of 100% electric delivery vans, Walmart noted.

Walmart launched InHome delivery in 2019 with an eye toward offering compelling convenience especially for busy, on-the-go families. Tom Ward, SVP of last mile for Walmart U.S., called the service "a perfect solution for customers who want to live their lives without worrying about making it to the store or being home to accept a delivery."

The drive for anything, anywhere, (almost) anytime availability has been in sharp focus for Walmart, the country's biggest grocery retailer (with the company's share in grocery growing in 2021), as it seeks what Walmart leadership has called "primary destination status" with Walmart customers. Almost a year ago, when Walmart announced it was piloting delivery in its hometown to temperature-controlled smart boxes outside customers' residences, Ward said that delivery "should fit within [customers']  lifestyle, not the other way around."

Walmart customers who sign up for InHome delivery place their Walmart order on the Walmart app; a "highly trained InHome associate" then uses a one-time access code on a door or garage keypad to enter the customer's house and put away groceries. Associates can also pick up returns of items purchased on Walmart.com.

Delivery associates have a camera attached to their vest to record deliveries; customers can view these recordings for a week after the delivery, according to a Walmart news release. Associates also wear masks, sanitize surfaces and lock up when they leave, the retailer stated.

Walmart's InHome delivery offering is priced at $19.95 a month or $148 a year; tips are built into the membership price, Walmart said. Customers who don't currently have a smart lock can purchase one for use with the InHome service for $49.95. 

The retailer called the associate delivery driver role an up-and-coming full-time position at Walmart and said the company intends to promote from within to fill many of the planned 3,000-plus delivery driver openings. "InHome drivers are employed by Walmart and receive an extra $1.50/hour from most current store roles, a pay differential designed to attract top talent," the company stated in its news release.

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