The retailer is testing a service that has delivery persons putting groceries ordered online directly into customers' refrigerators. Fred Katayama reports.
No time for grocery shopping when you're on the run? Wal-Mart is testing a service that'll deliver groceries directly to customer's refrigerators. It's running the test in Silicon Valley. The delivery person would access the customer's home with a one-time passcode that opens the door's smartlock. Wal-Mart is teaming up with a provider of smart locks, August Home, to test the service. The homeowner is alerted that the delivery is in progress and gets to watch the process captured on home security cameras through an app. Robert W. Baird analyst Peter Benedict said, "That's the direction the industry is going. It's going toward more convenience, ease of ordering, ease of delivery. This is just another example of Wal-Mart pushing deeper into that." It's one of the new delivery methods retailers are testing. Wal-Mart, for example, has been using its own store employees to deliver packages bought online, and Amazon has been experimenting with drones. Target is testing its next-day delivery service in Minneapolis whereby goods ordered online get packaged at a nearby store.