Walmart is rolling out 2-hour ‘Express Delivery’ as demand for online grocery surges

  • Walmart is ramping up its delivery service offerings and rolling out Express Delivery, a program that fulfills customer orders in under two hours.
  • The program, which was piloted in 100 stores in mid-April, has been accelerated in light of the pandemic.
  • Express Delivery will expand to around 1,000 stores in early May and 1,000 more in the following weeks.
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As the demand for online grocery surges across the US, Walmart is rolling out a service to speed up its fulfillment times in thousands of stores, the retailer announced in a Thursday press release.

The big box chain is rolling out Express Delivery, a service that will bring orders to customers in under two hours. The program has been piloted in 100 stores since mid-April and will be expanded to around 1,000 stores in early May and 1,000 more in the following weeks.

The service will cost shoppers an additional $10 charge per order on top of the regular delivery charge and will utilize the chain’s team of nearly 74,000 personal shoppers to pick up customer orders.

The rollout of the service has been accelerated in light of the coronavirus pandemic, as demand for online grocery fulfillment surges across the US.

“We know our customers’ lives have changed during this pandemic and so has the way they shop,” said Walmart’ chief customer officer Janey Whiteside in a press release. “We also know when we come out of this, customers will be busier than ever, and sometimes that will call for needing supplies in a hurry. COVID-19 has prompted us to launch Express Delivery even faster so that we’re here for our customers today and in the future.”

In a recent report, UBS predicted that retailers like Walmart who have invested in fulfillment will be better prepared to capitalize on the surge of digital demand that will likely continue in the post-pandemic world.