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Walmart announced yesterday that it is folding its InHome Delivery service, which allows employees to deliver groceries directly into shoppers' home refrigerators, into its Walmart+ program as an optional add-on.

" What were previously two standalone memberships are joining forces to bring all delivery capabilities into a single, streamlined experience, allowing new and existing members to choose the membership plan that appeals the most to them based on the type of delivery service they want," the company said.

"Members of Walmart+’s $12.95 a month/$98 a year program can now add unlimited fee-free and tip-free InHome delivery for an extra $7 a month or $40 per year. That is $138 annually for both, $10 less than previous annual pricing when Walmart+ and InHome were separate memberships. New customers who sign up for both services also get to enjoy the lower rate of the combined programs."

Walmart said that it also is "launching InHome in several new markets including Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Dallas, Austin, San Jose and San Francisco, nearly doubling the footprint where this service is available. As that added layer of convenience, InHome delivery enables customers to pick and choose where their groceries are delivered – anywhere from their doorstep to directly into the refrigerator."

The announcement notes that "Walmart’s eCommerce sales grew by 38% over the last two years, and Walmart continues to invest in the delivery space to create a seamless, flexible experience for customers. Additionally, the retailer is ramping up delivery slot capacity by 35% this year to meet growing demand and continues to expand to new markets."

KC's View:

I've always been a little skeptical about the InHome service … I don't even like it when Mrs. Content Guy reorganizes the refrigerator, and so the idea of some stranger coming into the house and doing it strikes me as a little distasteful.

So I have to wonder if this comment from Whitney Pegden, Vice President and General Manager, InHome at Walmart, is a little bit of hyperbole…

“We know how much InHome members love this service – they see the same familiar faces and build real relationships with our associates, who help them get through their busy weeks.  InHome has one of the highest customer experience ratings in the business, and now we’ve made it even easier to access in even more locations as we grow to reach over 30 million households by the end of the year.”

Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky.  Maybe people around the country really are forming relationships with people who come in and stock their fridges.  But I confess that I remain skeptical, I would like to see the demographics on this, and would love to have an MNB reader who has used inHome to tell me about the experience and explain to me why I am wrong.