Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its grocery pick-up service to Atlanta; Charlotte and Fayetteville, North Carolina; Salt Lake City and Ogden, UT; Nashville, TN; Tucson, AZ, and Colorado Springs, CO, the company said.
Wal-Mart has also been testing online grocery delivery services in San Jose and Denver, and has already been testing pickup in those cities plus Phoenix, Bentonville, AK, and Huntsville, AL.
The move comes as Amazon Fresh and other same-day grocery delivery startups like Instacart and Postmates are expanding into more cities, and even Target, with Instacart, is testing out the service.
Wal-Mart is expanding its grocery services quickly, considering the retailer began testing delivery and pickup just this year.
Although the company has been testing both grocery options, the latest moves suggest that store pickup is solidifying as the strategy. That makes sense on many levels. For one thing, neither Amazon nor the delivery startups operate the grocery stores they work with; in cases where they fulfill online grocery orders from their own warehouses, there’s no store to speak of. Wal-Mart, by contrast, runs some 4,600 stores in the U.S. alone. Having someone pickup their groceries brings them to those stores, for another potential errand or two.
Plus, pickup may be especially attractive for the Wal-Mart customer. Besides the usual upsides to pickup — no waiting around or the added expense of delivery — many Wal-Mart customers order online but would like to pay in cash.
And it’s a way to keep those Wal-Mart customers coming to the stores, says Jason Goldberg, vice president of commerce at digital marketing firm Razorfish.
“Wal-Mart’s grocery services serve as a way to try to get more wallet share from customers already coming to their stores,” Goldberg told Retail Dive. “Wal-Mart’s focus is really customer wallet share even more than where they can steal market share.”