How Walmart's expanded grocery delivery service measures up to competition

Getting your groceries from Walmart (WMT) just got easier.

On Wednesday, the retail giant announced plans expand its online grocery delivery service to 100 metro areas in the U.S. Currently, the service is only available in six markets. This means that more than 40% of households will have the option to have their groceries delivered from Walmart.

To use the service, customers can order by visiting Walmart.com/grocery, or by using the app.  After placing an order, Walmart sends one of its 18,000 personal shoppers (more will be added this year) to walk around the store and track down the items you selected. The shoppers must complete a three-week training session on how to pick the best produce and cuts of meat.

From there, groceries can be delivered to your home on the same day for $9.95, with $30 minimum placed every order. Customers can get their first order delivered for free with promo code FRESHCAR.

According to Walmart, 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, so they see this as a way of serving their customers in “a way that no one else can.”

A Walmart employee shops for food to fulfill an online customer delivery.
A Walmart employee shops for food to fulfill an online customer delivery.

It’s not a stretch to assume that quote might be referencing Walmart competitor Amazon (AMZN). Thanks to its Amazon Fresh service, the Seattle retailer has been leading the charge when it comes to grocery delivery. Using this feature, Amazon Prime customers can order groceries online (including from Whole Foods) and schedule a same-day delivery with a subscription fee of $14 a month. This fee is on top of the $99 annual fee for Prime membership, bringing the total for Amazon Fresh to $179.88.

That said, last month Amazon announced that Prime customers in select cities can choose to receive two-hour delivery for free, and one-hour delivery for $7.99 on orders over $35. The hope is to expand this program throughout the U.S. this year.

Food isn’t the only category where the retailers are going head to head. On March 5, Walmart revealed its plan to roll out meal kits in 2,000 stores, which will also be available for Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup. These kits are currently available in 250 stores, and include pre-portioned ingredients for meals like steak dijon, sweet chili stir fry, chicken parmesan and meatloaf. The cost is $8 to $15 per meal kit and feeds two people.

Amazon offers similar kits through Amazon Fresh, most of which cost about $15.99.

Outside of the giant retailers, Fresh Direct also delivers groceries, including meal kits. Fresh Direct has a $5.99 delivery fee (higher in some areas) and a $30 minimum order.

And we can’t forget about the many meal delivery companies sprouting up. A small sample of the options include Blue Apron and Hello Fresh which cost $60 for three meals; Plated, which provides two meals for $56 f(including desert); and Home Chef for $10 a meal with free delivery on orders over $45.

In other words, busy families now have more options than ever when it comes to putting food on the table.  

Would you order your groceries online?

Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

eBay will now price match with Amazon and Walmart

Amazon credit card offers cash back at whole foods

What you need to know about Amazon Prime Day

What to Read Next

Back