- Walmart announced on Wednesday it plans to expand its in-home delivery service from 6 million U.S. households to 30 million by the end of 2022.
- To rapidly scale InHome delivery, the retailer said it will hire more than 3,000 associate delivery drivers — a newly created role — this year and also build out a fully electric fleet of delivery vans.
- With the expansion of InHome delivery, the retailer is leaning into customer demand for convenient and premium delivery options and continuing to grow its last-mile delivery capabilities.
Walmart is looking to quintuple its InHome service as competition heats up with Amazon for in-home and in-garage delivery.
InHome delivery launched in select cities in late 2019, but was put on pause early in the pandemic. Last April, Walmart said it planned to grow the service on the heels of Amazon’s announcement that it was expanding its in-garage grocery delivery service to all of its markets through Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market.
Like Walmart, Amazon’s in-garage delivery service also launched in 2019 and now includes in-home service. The two companies are pushing ahead with their services despite health and safety concerns consumers might have with workers entering their homes and possible food spoilage by leaving perishable items in garages.
As the two behemoths compete for online shoppers, Walmart said InHome is an “important part” of its last-mile delivery strategy, which includes a two-hour Express service. The company said its delivery network, which sends out more than 160,000 products from around 3,400 stores, currently reaches 70% of U.S consumers.
Walmart’s InHome option allows associates specially trained in the service to leave grocery deliveries and pick up Walmart returns in customers’ homes or garages by using a one-time access code that pairs with smart access technology. Customers are notified of the entry and have access to a camera on the associate’s vest to watch live. The service costs $19.95 per month or $148 per year, which includes tips and does not include fees. A smart lock available for purchase through InHome costs $49.95.
Pharmacy delivery is "coming soon" to the service, per Walmart's website.
To scale the offering, Walmart said it has created a new full-time position in its stores called associate delivery driver that pays an additional $1.50 per hour from most current roles. The drivers, which the company plans to hire from its existing workforce, will receive in-person and virtual reality training.
Although Walmart is known as a value-oriented retailer, it's also trying to court affluent customers through premium services. The company experimented with a personal shopping service in New York City and has a membership program, Walmart+, that offers free delivery and savings on fuel and prescriptions for $98 a year.
In Wednesday's announcement, Walmart also highlighted how scaling the InHome service furthers its sustainability efforts. The fully electric vehicle fleet planned for InHome ties into the retailer’s goal of operating a zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040 and will be supported by Walmart’s electric vehicle charging stations, which total nearly 1,400 at stores and clubs across 41 states.