Walmart launches grocery pickup in Amazon's home turf

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Walmart has picked the Seattle area to open its 1,000th Online Grocery Pickup location.

The free service, which was initially piloted in Denver in 2013, enables customers to order groceries online and pick them up at their local Walmart store without leaving their cars. It has proved to be very popular with Walmart customers across the country.

“Customers from Atlanta to Albuquerque and Nashville to New York have told us what an ally Online Grocery Pickup is in their fight to save something so important – time,” said Mike Turner, vice president of eCommerce Operations for Walmart U.S. “Our daily mission is to help our customers keep a little more money in their pockets and add more time in their schedules. Online Grocery is doing that for the millions of customers who have tried the service, so we won’t stop with store 1,000.”

In celebration of the 1,000th pickup milestone, Walmart will be giving away sweet treats and $5 promotion codes that can be used with a future Online Grocery Pickup order to customers at Online Grocery locations across the country.

In Seattle, the company will be giving away Google Home devices to the first 250 Online Grocery customers in the market.

Walmart is angling to counter Amazon's push into grocery with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market and other food retailing moves.

Online Grocery Pickup gives customers access to more than 40,000 items, including fresh produce and meat, pantry staples and great seasonal items from the comfort of their couch.

Customers visit or through the Walmart Grocery mobile app, enter their ZIP codes to select a local store and begin creating their shopping lists. During checkout, they select a time to pick up their orders.

Highly-trained personal shoppers carefully select the freshest produce, meats and other items each customer requested.

Once a customer arrives at the store, they can park in one of the specified Online Grocery Pickup parking spaces marked in orange, and enter a designated number to call to alert an associate. An associate will quickly retrieve the prepared order and load it into the customer’s car within minutes.

According to Walmart, more than 400 Online Grocery Pickup locations have been opened just this year:

  1. The service is free to customers – and there is no price markup on products.
  2. The #1 reason customers use Online Grocery is to save time (89%). That’s followed quickly by being able to shop in the comfort of their own home (83%) and by being able to shop any time (79%).
  3. Nearly half of all items bought from Walmart Online Grocery are from fresh departments (produce, meat and seafood, bakery and dairy).
  4. Fresh items are backed by Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee. If customers aren’t satisfied with their fresh products, they can bring in their receipt for their money back.
  5. Customers can pick up their grocery orders in as little as four hours.
  6. Walmart associates who pick online grocery orders for customers – personal shoppers – must successfully complete a 3-week training and certification course before picking orders for customers.
  7. Online Grocery Pickup orders are most likely to be placed during the late evening – after parents put their kids in bed.
  8. Walmart is also piloting Online Grocery Delivery in six markets.
  9. Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, and we serve more than 140 million customers a week.