Walmart says it will be testing its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft in the next two weeks in Denver and Phoenix, the AP reports. That's in addition to a quiet pilot program that started in March with Deliv for its Sam's Club customers that involves delivery of general merchandise and groceries for business members in Miami. Walmart's test works this way: A customer in one of the test locations orders groceries online and then selects a delivery window. A personal shopper then selects the products, and the team may request a driver from one of these services to go to the store, pick up the customer's order, and take it directly to the customer's location. Customers pay Walmart the regular $7 to $10 delivery charge online and make no payments to the driver.
The move is the latest step in the retailer's efforts to better compete with Amazon, which is delivering groceries directly to shoppers' homes in several markets. The tests with Uber and others come as Walmart is also rapidly expanding its curbside grocery delivery to 14 new markets for a total of 54 markets and in over 200 stores. That allows customers to order groceries online and then pick them up outside their local store. Walmart says 90% of its curbside customers are repeat users and more than 90% of its baskets include fresh grocery items like dairy and produce. The company has also been testing grocery home-delivery service in San Jose, Calif., and Denver. (Read more Walmart stories.)