Walmart is looking to quintuple its InHome service as competition heats up with Amazon.
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 despite health and safety concerns consumers might have with workers entering their homes.
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 groceries 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. 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 $1.50 per hour more than 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.
Post time: Jan-12-2022