Walmart taps Postmates for grocery delivery service

Walmart is working with delivery service Postmates to bring online grocery orders to more shoppers’ homes, with the goal of reaching more than 40 percent of U.S. households.

The partnership will roll out in Charlotte, North Carolina, the companies announced Tuesday, and will grow to other areas across the country in the coming months.

Having a grocery delivery service is increasingly important as more shoppers opt to place their orders online while relaxing on the couch. Industry experts say they expect a continued uptick of activity in the space as delivery becomes faster and more efficient.

In March, Walmart announced it would be expanding its grocery delivery business for online orders to 800 stores by year’s end. The retailer at the time said it would be working with Uber and Deliv, among other partners, to provide transportation.

“We will … reach as many households as we can,” said Tom Ward, the vice president of Walmart’s digital operations in the U.S. “We will leverage our footprint where it makes the most sense.”

In working with Postmates, Walmart’s personal shoppers will pull together items from online orders, which can then be delivered to homes as soon as the same day an order is placed. The minimum purchase amount is $30, and there’s a fee of $9.95 for delivery.

Amazon is meanwhile bulking up its delivery service for online grocery orders. Earlier this year, the e-commerce giant started delivering groceries from Whole Foods via its two-hour Prime Now platform.

Same-day delivery company Instacart has also been inking more deals with retailers including Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Ahold Delhaize and HEB. Just last week it announced it had raised $150 million to help fund its aggressive expansion plans.

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