Walmart Expanding Online Grocery Pickup and Piloting Delivery with Uber, Lyft

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. says its grocery pickup service in the U.S. is in nearly 40 markets as of the end of May, up from 22 when the company started the year. The company is also set to announce its newest pilot, a last-mile delivery test through services like Uber, Lyft and Deliv, at the annual Shareholders Meeting.

"I'm excited about the ways we're using technology to deepen our relationship with customers and help them save both money and time," said Doug McMillon, President & CEO. "Our Grocery Pickup service in the U.S. continues to receive high marks from customers and we're continuing to expand it."

Walmart will start with tests of grocery delivery through Uber and Lyft, which we expect to start within the next two weeks in Denver and one other market. This is in addition to a Sam’s Club pilot that started in March with Deliv involving delivery of general merchandise and grocery for business members in Miami.

Walmart grocery customers in one of the test locations will place their grocery order online and select a delivery window. Personal shoppers will select and prepare their order and then the company will request a driver from one of these services to come to the store, pick up the customer’s order, and take it directly to the customer’s location. The customer pays the normal $7-10 delivery charge online, and makes no payment to the driver.

At Sam’s Club, the process is very similar, with personal shoppers preparing orders for business members, and having their order delivered to their door with Deliv.

"We’re thrilled about the possibility of delivering new convenient options to our customers, and about working with some transformative companies in this test," wrote Michael Bender, EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Walmart Global eCommerce, on Walmart Today. "We’ll start small and let our customers guide us, but testing new things like last-mile delivery allows us to better evaluate the various ways we can best serve our customers how, when and where they need us."

At Sam's Club, Club Pickup grew by more than 30% in the company's first quarter 2017. Membership income increased by nearly 4% as Plus member renewables grew by more than 30%.

"Leading in digital is a focus area for Sam's and the team is doing a good job of delivering for members as we continue to see strong growth in Club Pickup," said McMillon.

"As planned, investments in people and technology led to growth in operating expenses that outpaced our sales growth," said Brett Biggs, EVP & CFO. "The team at Sam's is in the early stages of executing against the strategies as outlined at the end of last year. We know we have work to do and we're on the right path."

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