Walmart will deliver groceries straight to your fridge

Walmart is betting it can convince time-strapped customers to let strangers deliver groceries into their refrigerators while they're away from home.In...

Posted: Jun 7, 2019 8:02 AM
Updated: Jun 7, 2019 10:30 AM

Walmart is betting it can convince time-strapped customers to let strangers deliver groceries into their refrigerators while they're away from home.

In a new service announced Friday, customers will be able to order groceries online, and then a Walmart worker will drive the food from a nearby store and deliver it to fridges in customers' kitchens or garages. It is Walmart's latest innovation in its grocery business, which makes up more than half of the company's annual sales.

Walmart piloted its new service in New Jersey for five months and is ready to expand. The option will be available to more than a million customers this fall in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida. Walmart charges a fee for regular grocery delivery orders, and it did not disclose how much customers will have to pay for in-home delivery.

Here's how the service works: Customers can purchase groceries online and select a delivery day. Walmart's employees will wear a camera when they enter customers' homes, allowing shoppers to watch the process live from their phones. Customers won't have to pay for a camera, but they will have to purchase a special door lock. Walmart did not say how much the lock will cost.

Walmart believes it can entice shoppers with another convenient perk as part of its in-home delivery service: Later this year, customers will be able to leave their returns from Walmart's website on their counter and the employee will bring the item back to the store.

In-home grocery delivery is not an entirely new concept for Walmart. The company partnered on another grocery delivery option in 2017 with smart-security company August, which makes locks that customers can monitor on their phones. That test included drivers from a crowd-sourced startup to deliver the items to customers. Amazon launched Key in 2017 that allows delivery drivers inside customers' homes when they're not around.

The biggest barrier Walmart will face with its new service is that most people don't want strangers in their homes.

Bart Stein, a Walmart executive who leads the in-home delivery service, acknowledged some customers during the pilot test were initially skeptical of the concept. But he said Walmart had been able to change opinions once customers tried it out.

'We really saw the tables turn after one delivery during our pilot testing around how people would trust a service like that,' he said.

One way Walmart is trying to alleviate customer concerns about the service: A biography with three fun facts about their delivery employees.

Walmart workers who've been at the company for at least a year can apply for the in-home delivery position. If they get the job, they will go through training and the role will become their main responsibility.

Walmart US e-commerce chief Marc Lore did not say how many employees will be diverted to these new delivery jobs, but it's another skilled position the retailer has created as new technology emerges. Walmart has also created 30,000 'personal shopper' jobs in stores who select groceries for customers' online pickup and delivery orders.

Walmart's new delivery model comes out of its tech incubator, Store No. 8. The incubator develops companies, such as Jetblack, Walmart's chat-based shopping service in New York City, that help it stay ahead of future shopping trends.

Related: How to solve the world's plastics problem — Bring back the milkman

'We're taking it out of Store 8 and bringing it into the core business,' Lore said at a presentation to reporters on Thursday. Lore emphasized that Walmart will be able to use its own store network, grocery supply chain and employees for the service. He argued that combination will help distinguish the offering from competitors.

Walmart has added thousands of grocery pickup locations from stores, same-day home delivery options and introduced voice ordering for groceries off Google Assistant.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 62303

Reported Deaths: 1724
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19677840
Ramsey7775269
Dakota4558106
Anoka3792115
Stearns291320
Washington219247
Olmsted178123
Nobles17736
Scott160822
Mower11072
Rice10428
Blue Earth9415
Wright9035
Carver8903
Clay79240
Sherburne73710
Kandiyohi7051
St. Louis60020
Todd4292
Lyon4253
Freeborn3601
Nicollet35113
Steele3512
Watonwan3281
Benton3233
Winona26516
Beltrami2490
Crow Wing24614
Le Sueur2301
Martin2095
McLeod2080
Chisago2071
Goodhue2029
Otter Tail1983
Cottonwood1770
Becker1611
Pipestone1589
Polk1564
Waseca1490
Itasca14612
Carlton1450
Douglas1442
Unassigned13346
Dodge1310
Isanti1310
Pine1290
Murray1241
Chippewa1091
Morrison931
Wabasha920
Brown892
Faribault890
Meeker872
Rock850
Sibley842
Koochiching803
Jackson790
Cass762
Pennington751
Mille Lacs723
Fillmore710
Renville675
Lincoln590
Grant563
Swift551
Roseau530
Yellow Medicine520
Pope480
Houston440
Aitkin401
Norman400
Kanabec372
Redwood360
Hubbard350
Wilkin353
Marshall290
Mahnomen271
Wadena270
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake220
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49830

Reported Deaths: 948
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10535208
Woodbury375452
Black Hawk318066
Linn244588
Johnson212320
Dallas191335
Buena Vista179712
Scott175814
Dubuque172231
Marshall145226
Pottawattamie135029
Story118115
Wapello92733
Muscatine85748
Webster8428
Crawford7363
Sioux6503
Cerro Gordo64417
Warren5821
Tama55629
Jasper48427
Wright4781
Plymouth47412
Clinton4214
Dickinson3854
Louisa37814
Washington30510
Boone2663
Hamilton2521
Franklin24812
Bremer2317
Clarke2063
Clay2031
Carroll1962
Des Moines1942
Emmet1934
Shelby1871
Hardin1850
Marion1770
Floyd1633
Benton1601
Poweshiek1598
Allamakee1584
Jackson1581
Mahaska14217
Guthrie1375
Henry1364
Cedar1351
Jones1342
Buchanan1301
Butler1272
Madison1272
Delaware1231
Hancock1232
Humboldt1221
Lee1214
Lyon1192
Pocahontas1182
Cherokee1101
Harrison1101
Clayton1083
Taylor1000
Iowa971
Winneshiek971
Page960
Kossuth950
Mills931
Monona910
Palo Alto900
Winnebago890
Jefferson870
Calhoun862
Fayette860
Sac860
Osceola850
Cass821
Grundy821
Mitchell800
Union781
Monroe748
Lucas734
Worth680
Davis612
Montgomery604
Chickasaw560
Appanoose523
Howard500
Fremont440
Greene420
Keokuk391
Van Buren361
Adair340
Ida320
Audubon291
Decatur260
Ringgold231
Wayne201
Adams170
Unassigned70
Rochester
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 74°
Mason City
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 71°
Albert Lea
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Charles City
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
One more chance for rain
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Seans Weather 8/13

Image

Dental offices adjusting to the Pandemic

Image

Pest control services on the rise

Image

MSHSL releases guidelines for fall training sessions

Image

Hagedorn Introduces Livestock Relief Bill

Image

A Closer Look at Boating Safety

Image

Funding child care during the work week

Image

Rochester leaders consider their successors

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast - Wednesday

Image

Sara;s 6pm Forecast - Wednesday

Community Events