Charlotte’s No. 2 grocer launches home delivery service

Walmart is launching grocery delivery in Charlotte Tuesday. Walmart is launching grocery delivery in Charlotte Tuesday. (Courtesy of Walmart)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Katherine Peralta/Charlotte Observer) – Walmart shoppers in Charlotte can now have their grocery orders delivered right to their doorsteps.

The Arkansas retail giant announced Tuesday that Charlotte is the latest market in which it is launching its delivery service. The service, available for tens of thousands of grocery items, is available for a flat delivery fee of $9.95 through a third-party provider, Postmates. Grocery delivery orders have a $30 minimum, Walmart says.

Here’s how it works: Customers can pick out their grocery products on Walmart’s website or on its Walmart Grocery App. When checking out, users click the Delivery tab, and select a delivery window at checkout. A Walmart “personal shopper,” who is required to complete a three-week training program on how to select the freshest produce and meat, picks out each item from the store, then a Postmates courier retrieves the order from the Walmart store and drives it to the customer during the designated window.

Groceries can be delivered as soon as the same day, Walmart said, and the company doesn’t require a subscription. Customers can get their first order delivered for free with promo code FRESHCAR with a $50 minimum order.

“We believe we’re serving Charlotte customers in a way that no one else can,” said Amy Davis, Regional eCommerce Director, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia.

Walmart said its delivery service is especially useful for customers who don’t live close to a store, have mobility issues or simply prefer to have their groceries delivered.

The service is a way Walmart is seeking to differentiate itself in Charlotte’s increasingly cutthroat grocery industry. The entrance of German grocer Lidl has upped the competitive ante among low-cost grocers, while Amazon’s expansion of services such as Prime Now has made delivery even more important for grocers.

With 18.6 percent of the area’s grocery market share, Walmart is Charlotte’s second-biggest grocer, according to the sales-tracking firm Chain Store Guide.

In Charlotte, the service is available within the city limits and in surrounding areas including Pineville, Matthews, Gastonia, Mount Holly, Indian Trail, Belmont and Huntersville. Walmart plans to expand the service into more areas in the coming months. Shoppers can see if delivery is available in their area by visiting Walmart.com/grocery.

Other markets that already have Walmart delivery include Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; San Jose, Calif., and Tampa, Fla..

The company says that by the end of the year it will offer delivery to more than 40 percent of U.S. households in 100 metro areas.

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