- Walmart is extending its delivery hours until 10 p.m. and adding delivery windows during the holidays, Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile for the retailer's U.S. division, wrote in a company blog post on Thursday.
- The retailer has also expanded the number of stores offering alcohol delivery to 1,500 and boosted the number of locations allowing pickup orders for alcohol to 3,000.
- The moves are the latest in a series of steps Walmart has implemented to bolster its e-commerce operations ahead of the busy holiday season.
With the holiday season approaching, Walmart wants to give people broader flexibility when placing delivery orders as the company competes with other retailers for online shoppers.
Walmart's decision to extend its delivery service by two hours each day means customers will be able to place orders as late as 6 p.m. for same- or next-day deliveries, Ward wrote in the blog post. Walmart will not provide pickup or delivery services from its stores on Thanksgiving and will resume service at noon on the following day.
The retailer is also giving shoppers extra time to make changes after placing an order and offering to deliver large items like televisions and artificial Christmas trees, Ward said.
In addition, Walmart is offering additional time frames for local delivery through a new "Shopping and Delivery" feature on its Spark Driver app, which matches gig workers with opportunities to pick and deliver orders from Walmart and other retailers, according to the post.
The changes come as Walmart looks to keep the momentum of its online shopping growth. The retailer saw U.S. e-commerce sales grow 6% in its second quarter against the same period in 2020, which saw digital sales nearly double due to pandemic-driven online shopping and consumer stockpiling.
In September, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said the company had started rolling out a universal search and checkout feature to its mobile app, allowing customers to use a single online basket for items that will get fulfilled from different locations. That change followed Walmart's decision in 2020 to merge its online apps for ordering groceries and other items in a bid to offer shoppers greater convenience.
Its expansion of online alcohol delivery and pickup follows the May announcement by rival Target that it was increasing the number of stores that fulfill online alcohol orders.
Walmart charges a fee of $7.95 to $9.95 for deliveries but waives the charge for Walmart+ members. Earlier this year, Walmart eliminated the $35 minimum order requirement for its two-hour Express delivery program, which costs $10.