On Thursday, Nextdoor announced a partnership with Walmart called "Neighbors Helping Neighbors." The program connects Nextdoor members across the country with neighbors who are seeking or looking to provide shopping assistance. The effort enables community members to coordinate the contactless pickup and delivery of essentials like groceries or medication, Nextdoor said in its announcement.
To participate in the program, Nextdoor users can log in through the website or the app, select the "Groups" tab and coordinate with other neighbors who need or want to help with grocery shopping at nearby Walmart stores. Walmart stores participating in the program can be found on Nextdoor's "Help Map," according to the company statement.
Users are encouraged to use contactless payment options and delivery methods, per the company statement.
Across the U.S. there have been stories of volunteer services, police departments and friendly neighbors stepping up to deliver groceries to elderly individuals and others trying to avoid shopping in stores. Walmart's partnership with Nextdoor is a nod to these community service efforts, and seeks to better aid those who need groceries as well as those willing to deliver at a time when many e-commerce services are seeing significant service delays.
This is one of multiple efforts Walmart has made to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the past few weeks, the company has expanded contactless options for in-store, pickup and delivery; limited how many customers can shop at one time; and reserved some pickup times for at-risk shoppers. Walmart and other retailers have also tried to address sanitization concerns of in-store shoppers by increasing cleanings.
The company has also seen a spike in grocery app downloads, and so have other grocery retailers. Earlier this month, Walmart Canada also added PayPal as a payment option as it saw an increase in online grocery shopping. Its latest partnership with Nextdoor appears to be aimed at another way to help consumers shop safer during the pandemic.
"We're connecting neighbors to each other so that more members of our communities have access to essential items, while limiting contact and the number of people shopping in our stores," Janey Whiteside, Walmart's chief customer officer, said in a statement.
Other companies have been improving or turning their attention to deliveries during the pandemic. Uber recently unveiled Uber Direct, a grocery and convenience store delivery service, and Uber Connect, a service which allows users to send care items to family members. Instacart also announced plans to hire 250,000 additional gig workers in addition to the 300,000 it's hired over the past month, and has updated its app to meet the increase in demand, though the company has simultaneously faced worker protests over safety.