Walmart Redoubles Grocery Effort

Starting next year, shoppers can pick up online grocery orders at a thousand more U.S. stores.

October 13, 2017

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart continues to focus on groceries as it announced it would expand online ordering/store pickup of grocery items to 1,000 more U.S. stores next year, USA Today reports.

Company officials explained that groceries are key to bringing in shoppers, who, in turn, would buy other products from Walmart. “If you could offer fresh produce ... with the very best prices, with a really good experience whether it be pick up or delivery, then you have a good  chance to build a long standing relationship that you can then leverage to sell the rest of general merchandise,” said Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S., during the yearly investors meeting. “I think we have an advantage. We have assets to leverage in that area and so we’re going to ... lean in pretty hard.”

Walmart continues to try to best Amazon, which recently purchased Whole Foods. Since that August acquisition, Walmart has stepped up its efforts to make groceries more convenient, with a pilot program that deliveries groceries and online orders—and put the cold stuff right in the customer’s fridge.

Those initiatives are paying off, with the discount retailer predicting a 40% uptick in e-commerce sales in the United States next fiscal year. “It is clear that Walmart intends to continue to turn up the heat online, with 40% annual growth an impressive goal, especially on the heels of the 30% outlined at the 2016 investor meeting,” said Charlie O'Shea, lead retail analyst for Moody's. “We still believe Amazon's lead in online retail is insurmountable, however, Walmart continues to widen the gap between itself and all other brick-and-mortar retailers by leveraging its unmatched physical resources ... and in the process is providing consumers with a compelling online alternative to Amazon.”