USA – Walmart has launched Express Delivery, a new service that delivers food, groceries and other items from its store to customers’ doors in less than two hours.

With recent rise in online delivery as consumers continue to uphold movement restrictions, the American multinational retail corporation said that the new service will strengthen its response the Coronavirus pandemic.

Express Delivery allows customers to order across more than 160,000 items from Walmart’s food, groceries, consumables and general merchandise assortment such as everyday essentials as well as electronics.

Walmart has been piloting Express Delivery in 100 stores since mid-April. The retailer said that the service will expand to nearly 1,000 stores in early May and will be available in nearly 2,000 total stores in the following weeks.

“We know our customers’ lives have changed during this pandemic and so has the way they shop,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart.

“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.”

Walmart’s Express Delivery joins the retailer’s popular pickup and delivery offerings, all three of which are no-contact services for the customer.

It relies on the retailer’s team of 74,000 personal shoppers who will pick customers’ orders. This includes additional personal shoppers hired specifically for Express Delivery.

Walmart said that it will utilize its existing lineup of delivery providers to take orders from a store to customers’ doors. The service will cost US$10 on top of the existing delivery charge.

According to the company, Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited customers’ will simply pay a US$10 fee per Express Delivery. Like Walmart’s pickup and delivery services, there is no markup on items – an item is priced the same as it is on the shelf.

Express Delivery also builds on the existing inventory of pickup and delivery slots available to customers, creating more opportunity for customers to shop Walmart when and how they want.

“We have an opportunity to serve our customers no matter what life calls for,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president, Customer Product.

“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.”