Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced on Friday, ahead of its annual shareholders meeting, that it would be partnering with Uber, Lyft and Deliv to test same-day grocery deliveries.
Similar to Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime Now, a customer simply orders items online and chooses a two-hour delivery window. Walmart employees then gather the items on the list and request a driver from one of the services to come and pick them up. Current items offered range from fresh produce and meat to bakery items, baby food, cosmetics, batteries, diapers or pet food. The company says 40,000 items are available, 30,000 of them food-related and 10,000 more general merchandise items.
Yet, there are significant differences in the online grocery service of Walmart and Amazon. Amazon requires a $15 minimum order and includes free delivery, though customers also need to have membership of the company's $99 annual Prime service to access Prime Now. Walmart, however, just requires an order of at least $30, with delivery costing $7 to $10 more since Walmart is handling the delivery arrangement and thus customers do not need to pay the Uber or Lyft driver separately.
The Uber and Lyft deliveries will be coming to Denver and Phoenix in the next two weeks, offering direct delivery from stores to customers. Uber will be handling deliveries in Phoenix, while Lyft will be covering Denver.
In addition to opening up new cities for deliveries, Walmart will also be expanding its grocery pickup service to 14 new markets this month. By the end of July the service will be in over 60 markets, more than triple the 20 markets the company started with in April.
Walmart has been expanding its online grocery business in recent years, letting customers order online and then simply pick their orders up at a nearby store. Under this pilot program, Walmart will be expanding into what's known as "the last mile," or delivery from the store to a customer's home.
Walmart has been delivering to San Jose and Denver for the past few years, offering same-day delivery through a Walmart grocery truck. The company began testing grocery deliveries to business customers in Miami earlier this year through a partnership between its Sam's Club brand and delivery start-up 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," Michael Bender, the COO of Walmart's Global eCommerce division, said in a blog post announcing the program, "We’ll start small and let our customers guide us."