- Walmart shoppers can now purchase alcohol through Walmart Grocery Pickup from 2,000 stores in 29 states, including California, Texas and Florida, the company announced.
- The retailer will offer mainstream brands along with local and regional selections. Spirits will be available in select locations where permitted. Pickup and delivery ties may have restrictions depending on the market, and customers will be required to provide a valid photo ID before receiving their alcohol.
- Walmart said it will also begin delivering alcohol from nearly 200 stores in California and Florida, with plans to add more in accordance with local and state regulations.
It also serves as a response to competing retailers that have added alcohol to their online shopping assortments. Beer and wine can drive trips, and it can improve e-commerce economics by adding incremental dollars to orders. With so many shoppers already using Walmart Grocery Pickup, now closing in on 3,000 locations, the company stands to claim a significant percentage of online sales in the category.
Local and state laws remain a hurdle to online beer, wine and spirits sales, but large retailers like Walmart are spurring change, either through direct lobbying or indirectly. For example, last year the Associated Press reported the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approved a rule change to allow customers to order beer or wine through online grocery providers and have it brought to their vehicles. The report specifically noted Walmart’s request for curbside alcohol delivery in other states.
The grocery pickup and delivery wars continue to escalate, and alcohol is just one tool retailers are adding to their online arsenal. Amazon announced the elimination of its monthly Amazon Fresh fee Tuesday. Prior to that, Walmart introduced an unlimited grocery delivery plan and has begun delivering groceries inside people’s homes. Meanwhile, Instacart has launched curbside pickup nationwide and expanded alcohol delivery.