The world’s biggest retailer store, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE:WMT), is aiming more towards the association of home delivery, but for now focusing on a new approach, local pickup for groceries ordered online. This is only offered in a couple of their markets, which includes Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and Fayetteville, North Carolina; Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah; Nashville, Tennessee; Tucson, Arizona and Colorado Springs, Colorado with more to be expanded in the next couple weeks. Wal-Mart has tested delivering groceries in the past in Denver and San Jose, but customers prefer local pickup over its local delivery services. The self-pickup service is very simple and straight forward. Customers pick and choose their groceries online, then decide on a time they’ll arrive to the store, drive to Wal-Mart’s designated “pickup grocery” area, where an employee will then load your groceries for you.
“We are not walking away from delivery, but right now the focus for us is pickup, driven largely by what our customers are telling us.” said Michael Bender, Chief Operating Officer of global e-commerce at Wal-Mart. He added by saying “Each time we’ve added a new city, our customers begin using the service faster than they did in the previous one.” Ever since the introduction of the self-pickup, customers were taking advantage of this service in the designated areas.
Walmart believes that its competitive advantage in the online grocery shopping space comes from the retailer’s sizable brick-and-mortar footprint here in the U.S. where seventy percent of the population lives within 5 miles of a Walmart store. In addition, by choosing to focus on local pickup instead of delivery, there’s a cost savings for consumers. That’s because some delivery services generate revenue by either marking up the price of items being delivered, or they charge a delivery fee, and they tend to require a yearly subscription fee, as well, according to TechCrunch.