Retail giant Walmart announced the launch of Express Delivery, a new service that delivers more items in less than two hours.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company has been piloting the service in 100 stores since mid April. The service will now be expanded to nearly 1,000 stores in early May. In the following weeks, it will be available in nearly 2,000 total stores.
The new service will cost $10 on top of the existing delivery charge. Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited customers’ will simply pay a $10 fee per Express Delivery. No money is exchanged at the door, the company noted.
Under the Express Delivery service, customers can order across more than 160,000 items from Walmart’s food, consumables and general merchandise assortment.
Walmart’s Express Delivery, along with its popular pickup and delivery offerings, take no markup on items, meaning an item is priced the same as it is on the shelf. These services also offer no-contact services for the customer. The retailer’s team of 74,000 personal shoppers, including those hired specifically for Express Delivery, will pick customers’ orders.
The company will utilize its existing lineup of delivery providers to take orders from a store to customers’ doors.
Earlier on Thursday, Walmart said it has hired 200,000 associates in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers, since March 19.
Rival Amazon had said in mid-March that it was creating 100,000 new full and part-time positions across the U.S. to meet the surge in demand. The new job openings will be in Amazon’s fulfillment centers and its delivery network.
Last week, delivery start-up Instacart said it plans to hire an additional 250,000 full-service shoppers, in an effort to get back to same-day delivery across its platform.
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