Walmart’s In-Home Grocery Delivery Service Is Live

It uses a smart lock company backed by the retailer

A person in a Walmart vest puts items in a refrigerator.
Walmart is hoping customers will open their smart doors to grocery deliveries.
Walmart

In-kitchen and in-garage grocery delivery is now available from Walmart in four locations: Pittsburgh, Pa., Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City, Kan., and Vero Beach, Fla.

In a blog post, Walmart said over 1 million customers will be able to use the service.

Before these consumers can avail themselves of in-kitchen and in-garage delivery, a rep said they must pay $49.95 for smart door technology from Level Home or smart garage technology from Nortek Security and Control. Installation is free and the fee for the first month of unlimited delivery is waived. Thereafter, customers pay an introductory price of $19.95 with a $30 minimum order.

Specially trained Walmart associates will use smart entry tech to access homes and will have wearable cameras on their vests, so customers can watch deliveries remotely.

“If the camera doesn’t turn on, the door won’t unlock,” wrote Bart Stein, senior vice president of membership and InHome at Walmart.

The name of the game is finding ways to make customers’ lives easier and save them time, Walmart said.

The retailer piloted a similar service with smart-home access company August Home in Silicon Valley two years ago. (It has also partnered with ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft, as well as delivery service DoorDash, and experimented with using associates as couriers in a number of grocery delivery experiments across the U.S.)

Chances are Walmart is opting to work with Level Home this time around because it is an investor. The same day the retailer announced its new delivery service, the smart lock company said it has raised $71 million from backers including Walmart, home construction company Lennar Homes and investment firm Hut 8 Ventures. According to a statement, Level Home’s Level Lock can turn a standard deadbolt into a smart lock “in just minutes.” It will be available to the general public in January 2020.

Arguably Walmart’s biggest competitor in the grocery business, Amazon announced its own in-garage delivery service in April and has offered in-home deliveries elsewhere through home-access service Amazon Key since October 2017.

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