By Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business
Walmart is expanding its push to deliver groceries straight into customers’ kitchen fridges, even when they aren’t home.
Walmart said Wednesday that it plans to make InHome, its $148 annual delivery option, available to 30 million US households by the end of the new year, up from six million today. Walmart will also hire around 3,000 workers to deliver orders for InHome, offering them an extra $1.50 an hour from most store jobs, which begin at $12 an hour.
InHome is a small piece of Walmart’s strategy to draw more shoppers online, but its expansion is a sign that Walmart believes the program can help it stand out against Amazon and other retailers’ options in the delivery wars. Amazon in April announced a free, similar option called In-Garage Delivery in which delivery drivers can leave groceries in customers’ garages, but they don’t stock the fridge.
Walmart did not disclose how many shoppers have signed up or stuck with the program. But it’s targeting wealthier, time-strapped customers who are willing to pay a subscription — and are comfortable with a stranger entering their kitchen — to avoid going to the store or sitting at home waiting for their order to arrive.
Walmart debuted InHome in 2019 to more than a million customers in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida. This year, it plans to add Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and other areas.
Here’s how InHome works: Customers who subscribe order groceries online and select InHome as their delivery option. Walmart’s employees wear a camera when they enter customers’ homes, allowing shoppers to watch the process live from their phones.
Customers won’t have to pay for a camera, but they will have to use an existing smart lock, a garage keypad or a new smart lock from InHome for $50.
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