Service to be available to 30 million U.S. homes by year end
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is scaling up its InHome delivery service, with plans to make it available to 30 million households (up from 6 million today) by the end of the year. To that end, the company said Wednesday that it plans to hire more than 3,000 associate delivery drivers this year and will build out a fleet of all-electric delivery vans.
“We’ve been operating InHome in select markets over the last two years and have found it is a perfect solution for customers who want to live their lives without worrying about making it to the store or being home to accept a delivery,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president, last mile at Walmart U.S. “Identifying ways to help our customers save time and money is our purpose, and nothing showcases that better than InHome delivery, which is why we’re excited to bring the convenience of InHome to even more customers in 2022.”
Walmart’s InHome delivery service launched in 2019 with the aim of offering the most convenient delivery experience possible. Instead of leaving packages on a doorstep, trained associates deliver fresh groceries, everyday essentials and other products directly into customers’ homes, even putting items into their kitchen or garage refrigerators. While they’re at it, the associates will also pick up Walmart.com returns.
Customers who have signed up for the service simply place their orders on the Walmart App and select InHome as their preferred delivery option. Specially trained InHome associates use a one-time access code to unlock the customer’s door or garage through their InHome app, which pairs with smart entry technology. The app notifies the customer at every step of the process, the company said, adding that a camera, worn on the associates’ vest, records the entire delivery process. Customers can view the video of the delivery on their phones for up to a week after it is completed, allowing them to reassure themselves that associates took the appropriate safety measures, including wearing a mask, sanitizing surfaces, and locking up.
Walmart’s InHome Delivery service costs $19.95 per month or $148 per year, with no additional fees. (The cost of tips is built into the membership price.) Customers can extend one-time access to their InHome associate using an existing smart lock, a garage keypad, or by purchasing a new smart lock from InHome for $49.95.
Walmart plans to hire more than 3,000 InHome associate delivery drivers to support the rollout of the service. The company said that associate delivery driver is a new, up-and-coming full-time position. InHome drivers are employed by Walmart and receive an extra $1.50/hour above most current store roles, according to the company, which says the pay differential is designed to attract top talent for the position. The associates qualify for the retailer’s total rewards and benefits plans, including medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) matching, paid time off, no-cost counseling and access to a free college degree, with Walmart paying for 100% of tuition and books through its Live Better U program.
Walmart said it will fill these roles by promoting its own associates from within, building on a track record that saw more than 300,000 associates promoted to roles of more responsibility and higher pay in fiscal year 2021. InHome drivers receive in-depth training conducted both in-person and using virtual reality, further enabling them to build their skill set around using innovative tools and technology to manage the delivery process.
“This new role is yet another example of how technology is enabling us to offer new career opportunities that just didn’t exist a few years ago,” said Julie Murphy, executive vice president and chief people officer, Walmart U.S. “Expanding our number of InHome associates is a testament to the trust and confidence we have in them and their continuous commitment to delight our customers. There’s a path for everyone to build a career here at Walmart, and this position is further proof of that.”
The drivers will use all-electric delivery vans (EV’s) in their work. Walmart says the use of EVs supports the retailer’s goal of operating a zero-emissions logistics fleet by 2040, and is also supported by Walmart’s growing infrastructure of 1,396 EV charging stations at stores and clubs across 41 states.
InHome delivery is the newest delivery option to be scaled to Walmart customers and is an important part of the retailer’s last-mile delivery strategy, which includes creating a low-cost last-mile delivery network focused on density, speed and sustainability. Walmart also offers delivery and Express delivery on 160,000+ items from more than 3,400 Walmart stores, reaching 70% of the U.S. population. Additionally, the retailer leads the industry in the trialing of sustainable and innovative delivery solutions like drones and self-driving cars. More recently, Walmart began commercializing its nationwide delivery capabilities through Walmart GoLocal, a white-label delivery as a service business focused on providing 3rd party retailers and brands an affordable local delivery solution.