Bloomberg reports that Walmart plans to roll out a service - called InHome - that it first started testing in the autumn of 2019 - having its employees deliver groceries not just to homes, but into people's kitchens and refrigerators.
"After debuting in Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Vero Beach, Florida, Walmart recently brought InHome to its home turf of Northwest Arkansas, expanded in Southeast Florida and in July will add Atlanta," Bloomberg writes. "A successful rollout could help solidify it as the biggest player in the $1.8 trillion U.S. grocery market, a position under attack from the likes of Aldi and Amazon. Grocers gained millions of online customers last year, and now the challenge is keeping them. While Walmart’s low prices usually give it an edge, convenience and speed are crucial on the web."
The story goes on: "While Americans are venturing out more as vaccinations increase, there’s still a big question of whether they want someone nosing through their refrigerator. To put customers at ease, Walmart uses its own long-tenured employees, who meet customers (and sometimes their pets) before the first order and get trained on things like how to neatly stock a fridge. Delivery staff wear masks, gloves, booties and body cams, which live stream and record the delivery, and they enter homes (or garages) with one-time access to smart locks. Pets must be kept out of the way, although Walmart is testing letting them roam free in one market. The service costs $19.95 a month with a 30-day free trial."
“Grocery delivery was niche, and now it’s very mainstream,” Whitney Pegden, a Walmart vice president and the general manager for InHome, tells Bloomberg. “Now we have a large group of consumers used to it, and they’re starting to return to normal life and running into the issue of having to be home during deliveries. So the timing is really ripe for our service.”
- KC's View:
We can see where this is going. Just the other day, Amazon said it would ramp up its in-garage delivery program. Now Walmart is building out its in-home deliveries.
Which one will be the first to offer to come in and cook my food for me?
Not that I'd want them to. As I've said here before, I don't even like it when Mrs. Content Guy rearranges the refrigerator. Pretty sure I really would hate someone from Walmart or Amazon doing it.