Walmart is planning to scale its InHome delivery service to reach 30 million households by the end of the year, up from the 6 million homes that already have access to the service. To facilitate this expansion the company plans to hire more than 3,000 associate delivery drivers this year and equip them with a fleet of electric delivery vans. They will be supported by Walmart’s growing infrastructure of 1,396 EV charging stations at stores and clubs across 41 states.
Launched in 2019, Walmart’s InHome service offers delivery of fresh groceries and everyday essentials directly into customers’ refrigerators. Walmart associates will also pick up online returns as part of the service, which costs $19.95 per month or $148 per year.
“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, SVP of Last Mile at Walmart U.S. in a statement.
The role of associate delivery driver is a new full-time position at Walmart, coming at a time when retailers are struggling to recruit workers. InHome Walmart drivers will receive an extra $1.50 an hour above the pay scale for most current store roles in an effort to attract top talent. Associate delivery drivers will also qualify for the retailer’s rewards plans and full benefits package.
“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, EVP and Chief People Officer at Walmart U.S. in a statement. “There’s a path for everyone to build a career here at Walmart, and this position is further proof of that.”
InHome delivery is just one piece of the retailer’s last-mile delivery strategy, which also includes a variety of services for delivery and express delivery of more than 160,000 items from 3,400+ Walmart stores, reaching 70% of the U.S. population. The retailer also has focused on developing sustainable delivery solutions, trialing various technologies including drones and self-driving cars. More recently, Walmart began commercializing its nationwide delivery capabilities through its white-label GoLocal delivery-as-a-service solution, which is already being used by Home Depot and Chico’s.