Walmart Expands Delivery to Your Fridge, Pandemic Be Damned
Covid-19 upended the retailer's InHome service. Now it’s being revived, but still faces skepticism.
By Matthew Boyle, Bloomberg
April 28, 2021
In the fall of 2019, Walmart Inc. started testing a service to deliver groceries right into fridges while customers were out.
Then the pandemic kept Americans at home, making Walmart’s InHome business largely unnecessary. But it’s not dead. With online grocery booming during Covid-19 and vaccinations rising, the world’s largest retailer is expanding the service. It still faces a hurdle, though: Do Americans trust Walmart traipsing through their kitchens?
After debuting in Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Vero Beach, Florida, Walmart recently brought InHome to its home turf of Northwest Arkansas, expanded in Southeast Florida and in July will add Atlanta. A successful rollout could help solidify it as the biggest player in the $1.8 trillion U.S. grocery market, a position under attack from the likes of Aldi and Amazon. Grocers gained millions of online customers last year, and now the challenge is keeping them. While Walmart’s low prices usually give it an edge, convenience and speed are crucial on the web.
“Grocery delivery was niche, and now it’s very mainstream,” said Whitney Pegden, a Walmart vice president and the general manager for InHome...