Walmart to add Express Delivery to 1,000 stores

Walmart to add Express Delivery to 1,000 stores



Some small businesses are using self-driving delivery robots to get grocery items to customers while limiting person to person contact during the coronavirus pandemic. (April 16)

AP Domestic

Walmart is escalating its delivery strategy to customers, most of whom are still living under stay-at-home orders, and at the same time bolstering its retail competition with Amazon.

The nation’s largest retailer is expanding its two-hour Express Delivery service to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and expects to reach a total of nearly 2,000 stores in the following weeks, the company said Thursday.

Walmart, which has run a pilot Express Delivery program of 100 stores since mid-April, says it will expand the program because of customer demand during the coronavirus crisis. Express Delivery has more than 160,000 items including groceries, toys, electronics and other daily essential items available to order for the two-hour delivery.

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“We know our customers’ lives have changed during this pandemic and so has the way they shop,” said Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s chief customer officer in a statement. “We also know when we come out of this, customers will be busier than ever, and sometimes that will call for needing supplies in a hurry.”

This builds on the retailer’s current pickup and delivery offerings, all which offer no-contact services for the customer, the company says. Last year, Walmart began NextDay Delivery in some markets.

Walmart, which has about 4,700 stores in the U.S., has added more personal shoppers to fill its Express Delivery orders, which include an additional $10 over current delivery fees. Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited customers ($12.95 monthly or $98 per year) just pay a $10 fee per order.

To see if your store has Express Delivery, you can enter your zip code on or in the Walmart app. 

Amazon has a head start in the speedy delivery battle having begun Prime Now, its two-hour delivery for Prime members six years ago and continuing to expand it. Last year, Amazon began offering one- to two-hour delivery from Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh.

But earlier this month, Amazon began limiting the service to current members as demand rose during the coronavirus pandemic. New grocery customers are put on a waitlist.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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