Richmond Delivery Wars Update: Walmart Experiments with In-Home Grocery Delivery

Posted on by John W. Anderson in Commercial Real Estate, RVA Grocery and Delivery Wars

The competition between Walmart, currently the country's largest grocer, and Amazon, the undisputed online giant, continues to heat up! This summer, Amazon announced that it was purchasing Whole Foods, and immediately after the purchase, slashed the prices of Whole Foods groceries by an average of over 40%. This week, however, Walmart fired back, announcing that it is experimenting in Silicon Valley with in-home delivery of groceries to "smart homes" while customers are away.

Walmart's new concept involves the customer/homeowner linking a smartphone to the home's security system and remotely unlocking the door to allow access to the delivery person. The owner can then watch a livestream of the delivery through the home's security cameras. Remote home delivery allows the owner's perishable items to be placed directly in the refrigerator instead of sitting outside the house until the owner returns home. When the delivery is concluded, the owner remotely locks the home. Walmart's spokesperson wrote in a blog that the customer "is in control of the experience the entire time".

Sound a bit creepy? A poll on NBC's Today Show revealed that 94% of those surveyed would not use the service because the idea of having a stranger in their home without being present is not appealing.

Even though this type of home delivery may be a long time in coming to the Richmond market, if at all, Walmart continues to bring the heat as it fights to remain the country's largest grocer.

About the Author

John W. Anderson is a commercial real estate attorney who represents Virginia businesses and individuals. He assists his clients with a variety of commercial real estate matters and transactions (lender counsel, purchases, sales, leasing, tax-deferred exchanges, and development, as well as providing counsel regarding compliance with access provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act), tax-deferred exchanges, and general corporate and business advice, including entity formation.

Spotts Fain publications are provided as an educational service and are not meant to be and should not be construed as legal advice. Readers with particular needs on specific issues should retain the services of competent counsel.