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From next month, Waitrose will expand its rapid delivery service to Bath and Hove, in addition to 58 additional London postcodes, including Battersea, High Street Kensington, Bayswater, Victoria and Kingston, following a successful trial.

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Walmart has announced the launch of its ‘InHome Delivery’ service next Autumn.

Available to nearly 1 million people in three cities

The new service will be available to almost 1 million people in three cities: Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida. Start date of the service and cost to customers haven’t been disclosed.

Source: Walmart

How does it work?

After placing an order online, customers can simply select ‘InHome Delivery’ option at checkout. An InHome employee then collects the order and access the home to deliver groceries using the smart lock technology. In addition, each employee has a wearable camera that allow customers to track their progress within their homes. Later this year, InHome Delivery employees will be able also to collect returns on behalf of customers.

According to Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart e-commerce, each InHome Delivery employee will go through an “extensive” training on how to properly enter shoppers’ home and store their goods. According to the Wall Street Journal, they will also be required to have been with the company for at least a year.

What’s the competition doing?

Several Walmart’s competitors have recently implemented similar delivery solutions. Essentially, Waitrose has recently expanded its “While You’re Away” pilot which allows its employees to deliver groceries at shoppers’ home while they’re away. Along with Waitrose, Amazon, Edeka, Albert Heijn, Jet.com and ICA have all trialled delivery this way in their respective markets.

Please check our Walmart hub and Customer Centric hub for more related news.

Amazon is due to offer discounts on warehouse storage fees for sellers that stock more of their product with the e-tailer.

Up to 75% discounts

Discounts of up to 75% will be offered to sellers that have sold more than 60 units of a product each month and sellers that hold products that have been specifically selected by Amazon.

In order to qualify for the discounts, the sellers in question must also retain four to eight weeks of inventory within Amazon’s warehouses. The offer is taking place from the 1st June up until 31st January 2020.

The promotion might persuade many sellers to embrace the offer, while Amazon is most likely to benefit from greater SKU availability, which in turn will help it achieve speedy fulfilment and shipping, in an environment where 1-day shipping is steadily becoming the new normal. Last year, 58% of Amazon’s total sales emanated from third-party sellers.

Check out our Amazon hub for more related news.

The new fulfilment centre in Enfield, North London is due to open by 2020.

110,000 sq ft property to create ‘hundreds’ of jobs

The move forms part of its new deal with Today Development Partners (TDP), which aims to help Waitrose triple the size of its online business to £1bn by 2022. The new facility, which sits on a five-acre site, is due to open by spring 2020 and create ‘hundreds’ of jobs. Waitrose said it would use ‘state-of-the-art’ technology.

The new facility will be the first of three new fulfilment centres to be built in the next few years to strengthen its online offering.

At present, most of Waitrose’s online orders are processed directly in the local stores which currently serve 81% of UK postcodes. According to the retailer, the combination of a dedicated fulfilment centre working side by side with the existing shops has proven its efficiency with the opening of its centre in Coulsdon, south London, back in 2015.

“Waitrose.com growth is rapid and we know there are many more new customers who would like to buy our products from us online. This centre is the latest in an exciting raft of investments and will ensure they have a really convenient, easy way to do so,” said Ben Stimson, digital director at Waitrose.

Check out our Waitrose hub for more related news.

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