“It feels like if we can imagine it we can do it,” Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc., said on stage. “That means we can reimagine retail, again.”
Uber in Denver and Lyft in Phoenix are the first two pilot cities to test out the new service, which will start in the next two weeks, and the delivery fee will cost between $7 and $10, according to a post on Walmart’s blog.
Users in these markets will order their groceries online and select a window of time for drop off. Walmart employees will gather the order and hail a ridesharing driver to come pick up the order and deliver it on time.
The world’s largest retailer earlier announced that its soon-to-launch online subscription service called Shipping Pass will include two-day delivery of grocery items as well as other in-store products for a fee of $49 a year.
Walmart’s new model looks to take Amazon Prime Fresh head on. Amazon’s service already offers same day grocery delivery to subscribers in southern California for an annual price of $299 and includes all the benefits of a regular Prime subscription.
The announcement was part of a larger speech about how the company plans to embrace different forms of technology and begin a new chapter in its storied history.
He said Walmart has always been known for its low prices, but said this partnership is more about saving families time. He used an old saying his dad used to tell him to illustrate the point.
“He use to say to me, ‘Doug one of the differences between us is that I will spend time to save money, and you will spend money to save time, the problem is son it’s my money,’” McMillon recalled. “But dad it turns out I’m not the only one, there are busy families prioritizing their time all around the world.”
According to market research firm IbisWorld, online groceries are a $10.9 billion industry in the United States and is expected to grow 9.6 percent annually through 2019. Amazon already has a head start in the segment and with today’s announcement Walmart is signaling that it plans to catch up.