Walmart expands grocery pickup

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is expanding curbside pickup of groceries to eight new markets, joining the rush of retailers growing grocery services.

Walmart stores will offer the service for online orders in Kansas City, Missouri; Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho; Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia; Provo, Utah; Daphne, Alabama; and Charleston, South Carolina.

New locations will come online in already established markets, as well.

Curbside pickup is currently available at just a handful of stores and this expansion brings the total to 200 locations in 30 cities, according to CNBC.

Walmart has tested a variety of delivery and pickup options for grocery, including the dedicated pickup facility in Arkansas and Walmart to Go in Colorado, which provides shoppers with a location outside of the store to pick up orders.

Delivery is the focus for many retailers – Whole Foods has made a sizable investment in Instacart to provide fulfillment, while Amazon Fresh and UberRush are growing their networks – but curbside pickup seems to work best for Walmart shoppers, who are mostly women on the go.

Expect the program to expand more quickly now that Walmart has had time to test and analyze results.

"The data we've collected gives us confidence that with existing customers we are getting a larger share of their wallet and that's complemented by new customers we are bringing into the fold," Michael Bender, chief operating officer of Walmart e-commerce, told CNBC. "There will be more, so stay tuned."

For more:
- see this CNBC story
- see this TechCrunch article

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