Money Talks News staffers who ordered items from Walmart recently have marveled that their packages are arriving at speeds that meet — and in some cases beat — Amazon’s lauded Prime delivery.
As it turns out, more than mere luck is driving those speedy deliveries.
The discount-store retailer says that over the past couple of years, it has worked hard to get products to consumers more quickly.
Recently, T.J. Stallbaumer of Walmart Corporate Affairs detailed three chief ways Walmart now is using its stores to speed up last-mile delivery, meaning the last leg of an order’s journey to the customer’s home.
Increasing the capacity for store pickup and delivery
Walmart stores offer both in-store and curbside pickup as well as multiple delivery options — even in-home delivery. (More on that later.)
The COVID-19 pandemic made delivery especially popular. Walmart says the number of shoppers who used delivery in the fourth quarter of 2021 was six times what it was before the pandemic.
To help accommodate higher demand, Walmart increased pickup and delivery capacity by 20% in its stores in the past year. The retailer plans to do so again this year but by 35% this time.
Adding more market fulfillment centers
Walmart says the number of online orders fulfilled by its stores has jumped by 170% in the past year.
That has led the retailer to establish what it calls market fulfillment centers inside its stores that keep a separate inventory from what is available to shoppers inside the store. Walmart characterizes both stores and market fulfillment centers as “additional nodes in a deeply complex supply chain.”
The result of lengthening of that supply chain is quicker delivery service to your home.
Expanding Walmart InHome
The retailer announced in January that it’s expanding InHome, a delivery service that takes groceries and household essentials from store aisles and delivers them inside customers’ homes.
Walmart plans to scale this service so it can serve 30 million households, up from 6 million, by the end of 2022. As part of this process, Walmart will hire more than 3,000 delivery drivers and expand its fleet of all-electric delivery vans.
Other recent changes at Walmart
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