Walmart Expanding Online Grocery Pickup

Walmart Stores Inc is increasing its pickup service for its grocery orders online, pushing deeper into the industry where Target, Amazon.com and Google are all battling for customers.

Starting in October, certain Walmart locations in Salt Lake City, Atlanta as well as six other cities in the U.S. will add the free pickup option for groceries, said the retailer on Tuesday.

That means clients can order their items online, and then select a time to have them picked up and an employee will deliver the food to them when the customer arrives.

Walmart is offering this service currently in five more markets, as a pilot program that began in 2011.

This move puts the retailer closer to competition with businesses battling for more of the online grocery market a segment seen as being an elusive prize since the original 1990s dot com boom.

Target said it is planning to go aggressively after the grocery delivery business and announced earlier this month it would begin a test market for same day delivery of groceries with Instacart throughout Minneapolis.

Amazon at the same time offers an annual service for only $299 known as Amazon Fresh in specific markets

Google announced its plans earlier this month to begin testing a new delivery service to purchase groceries online and fresh food, later in the year in the area of San Francisco as well as one more city that was unnamed.

Walmart, the largest grocery seller in the U.S. wants to use its huge chain of stores to its advantage.

The massive retailer says that 70% of people in the U.S. live within 5 miles of their stores making the pickup for free option an attractive alternative to having them delivered.

The service enables customers to pick up orders at Walmart the same day they are ordered if the order is completed by 10 a.m.

Walmart also has tested the grocery delivery but for now, it will expand its option of pickup.

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