Walmart Announces New 2-Hour Delivery Service in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

As business across the country continue to enact new policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart on Thursday announced a change to its delivery service. In response to a surge in demand for delivery, the company has introduced Express Delivery, which will see items delivered in less than two hours.

"We know our customers' lives have changed during this pandemic, and so has the way they shop," Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart, said in a press release. "We also know when we come out of this, customers will be busier than ever, and sometimes that will call for needing supplies in a hurry. COVID-19 has prompted us to launch Express Delivery even faster so that we’re here for our customers today and in the future."

The service has been being piloted in nearly 100 stores since mid-April, but due to the pandemic, Walmart is looking to fast-track the development and expand Express Delivery to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and 2,000 stores in the following weeks. The service will cost an additional $10 on top of the existing delivery charge of $7.95 to $9.95, or just a $10 flat fee for members of Walmart's Delivery Unlimited service, which costs $12.95 a month or $98 annually.

The service will be available for 160,000 items from Walmart's food, consumables and general merchandise assortment such as groceries, everyday essentials, toys and electronics. Express Delivery also expands on Walmart’s existing inventory of pickup and delivery slots available, meaning that customers will have even more opportunity to shop Walmart when and how they want.

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"We have an opportunity to serve our customers no matter what life calls for," Tom Ward, senior vice president, Customer Product, said. "Whether it be a last-minute ingredient, medicine when a fever hits, or the item you didn’t know you needed when checking off your chore list, time matters. Express is a solve for that."

Using Express Delivery is easy. To get started, customers simply need to navigate to walmart.com/grocery or the Walmart app and search their ZIP code to see if the service is offered in the area at this time. During the checkout process, after they have added their items to their order, customers can select Express Delivery, which is eligible on orders of $30 or more. After paying, customers simply get to sit back and wait for a delivery driver to drop off their order, with no contact delivery, within two hours.