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Walmart to Expand Grocery Delivery as Amazon Battle Intensifies

14 March 2018

Though many companies, Amazon in particular, are now working to shorten the supply chain with grocery delivery, with this move Walmart gains greater control over its supply chain on the production side.

The largest USA retailer is leveraging its stores to roll out online grocery deliveries from 800 Walmart stores by the end of the year.

Walmart has been preparing its stores for its online grocery business, re-outfitting many of them to support the service, CNBC previously reported. No subscription is required.

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"We're moving fast", Tom Ward, Walmart's vice president of digital operations, said in an interview.

Walmart began delivering groceries through a pilot program in Phoenix, Denver and San Jose, Calif., two years ago, then expanded the experiment to include Tampa, Fla., Orlando, Fla., and Dallas last year.

"We will. reach as many households as we can", Ward said.

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While Amazon has a grocery delivery service of its own, it has started to use Whole Foods, and its Prime shopping and streaming media service as a mean to add new customers in the sector. "We will leverage our footprint where it makes the most sense". Customers place their orders online at Walmart.com/grocery or on the existing Walmart Grocery App, and unlike other services, they find the same every day low prices on items that they do in stores.

A recent study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen concluded that 70 percent of consumers will be grocery shopping online in as few as five to seven years. Orders can also be placed via a Walmart Grocery app.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods Market previous year has raised the stakes in the highly competitive grocery delivery wars. Walmart said more delivery companies will be announced later. It's now using 18,000 personal shoppers. He did not specify which companies will be involved in the expansion and said Walmart will "continue to understand how that is going to look over the next 12 months".

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So far, Walmart offers curbside grocery pickup at 1,200 stores and plans to accelerate the rollout to 2,200 by year-end. "We're serving our customers in ways that no one else can".

Walmart to Expand Grocery Delivery as Amazon Battle Intensifies