Walmart steps up home delivery service to challenge Amazon

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In line with the changing grocery store landscape across the US, Walmart said Wednesday that it would offer a home delivery service to 100 US areas by the end of 2018. It's now available in six markets across the United States and the company wants to offer this service in a lot more areas by the end of this year.

Groceries can be delivered to customers as soon as the same day.

"We're going to gain customers who might not have access to a brick-and-mortar store", he said.

Although Walmart says delivery will be available same-day for customers, it doesn't break out one- and two-hour timeframes like its close competitors.

"The retailer also offers an Online Grocery Pickup service that allows customers to order their groceries online and pickup them up in stores without ever getting out of their cars". Since Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition, the ecommerce giant has made an aggressive play for the grocery market - Walmart's most profitable category. Now available at 1,200 Walmart locations, this service lets customers order groceries online and pick them up from a store without getting out of their cars. Now that stands at around 18,000, though the retailer says it expects to add "thousands more" this year. A Walmart spokesperson said, "The fee is simple - no surprises, no subscription, no per-item fee or price markup". Customers only need to place a minimum order of $30.

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About 800 stores will operate the service.

In another attempt to keep up the fight against Amazon, Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service.

"A second aspect is that this is a further indication that it will be Walmart, not Amazon, that is the big competitor to supermarkets for the online grocery shopping business", he added.

The Amazon/Whole Foods delivery is available to Prime members-which costs $99 annually-in six cities now. It said it would expand that service to every Whole Foods by the end of the year, and it has already reached some neighborhoods in San Francisco and Atlanta.

And there's yet even more movement in this competitive market, as Target last December paid $550 million in cash for delivery service Shipt, and its 20,000 personal shoppers.