Walmart Bringing 2-Hour Delivery to U.S. Stores; Previews AI Produce Scale in China

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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Walmart is integrating the ReatilAI Fresh scales in 100 stores in China.

Walmart is expanding its Express Delivery service to nearly 2,000 stores, delivering items to consumers in less than two hours.

The retailer has been piloting the service in 100 stores since mid-April. It will roll out to nearly 1,000 stores by early this month and to nearly 2,000 stores in the following weeks. Consumers will be charged an extra $10 (including Walmart Delivery Unlimited subscribers). 

 “We know our customers’ lives have changed during this pandemic and so has the way they shop,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart. “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.”

The retailer has hired additional associates — it calls them personal shoppers — to help fulfill these orders.

See also: Retail’s Post-COVID Transformation Must Include Creative Fulfillment Strategies

Separately, the company released details about its AI-powered produce scale in China.

Born from Omega 8, Walmart’s startup accelerator, the RetailAI Fresh by Malong Technologies is an AI-powered self-service scale with product recognition technology.

Designed to decrease the amount of help consumers need from associates during the self-checkout process, RetailAI Fresh can ID products even when they’re placed inside clear plastic bags. Shoppers can then select their items with a single tap vs. the previous method involving multiple screens.

Machine learning enables the technology to continuously improve its capabilities by recognizing new SKUs and processing data without employee intervention.

Average weigh time has been reduced by about 40%, according to data from 10 Walmart stores, with higher customer satisfaction and increased overall transactions.

The technology is launching in 100 Walmart stores in China.

See also: Walmart Launches ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ Program