Walmart rolled out a new grocery delivery service in Pittsburgh Tuesday that will bring goods into customers’ homes, even if they aren't there. The program is also being piloted in Kansas City, Mo. and Vero Beach, Fla.
Customers who want to use InHome delivery will need to install a smart lock by the brand Level Home, which Walmart will complete for those who sign up for the pilot. The grocery delivery person will use the smart lock to open the door. Delivery personnel are equipped with cameras that live streams the drop-offs. The groceries will be placed in the refrigerator or garage, depending on customers’ preference.
Bart Stein, Walmart's Senior Vice President of InHome, said he understands some customers might be skeptical.
"At each step we take a lot of thought and care to make sure that you know exactly what's happening and that you can watch every step of the way," Stein said. "We think people once they try it are going to love it and they're going to trust it."
InHome delivery is the first service of its kind from a major U.S. grocery retailer. Alex Baloga, president of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, said the supermarkets and grocers he represents are motivated by customer trends, but it's too early to tell if in-home delivery is one.
"If this is something the customers are demanding, I can say 100 percent our members will evolve and offer it," Baloga said.
Walmart has offered standard home grocery delivery for customers since 2016, and says it's on track to offer the service from 3,100 stores by the end of the year.