This fall, Pittsburghers will be able to participate in a Walmart pilot program for InHome Delivery, a grocery delivery service that will drop food off not only at a customer's house, but inside their fridge and pantry.
Customers who choose InHome Delivery this fall won't even need to be home, but they do need to have smart locks that allow someone to enter using a numberical code. The delivery person will wear a camera during the entire process so the customer can remotely watch the entire process unfold, from the front door to the fridge.
"These associates, whose jobs are focused on this service, will also go through an extensive training program that prepares them to enter customers' homes with the same care and respect with which they would treat a friend's or family's home," a Walmart press release said.
Walmart has offered 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. InHome Delivery will pilot in three cities, with Kansas City, Mo. and Vero Beach, Fla. as the other two locations.
Some Pittsburghers who use home grocery delivery services are skeptical about the concept of allowing a delivery person into their home. Kim Alloway of Oakland has a 15-month-old at home, and uses grocery delivery services about three times a month. One concern said Alloway, is that they have a dog at home. Alloway also has ADHD and anxiety.
"It's really hard for me to motivate myself to go to the store sometimes," Alloway said. "And having somebody coming into my house when I'm already stressed like that wouldn't really help alleviate the problem."
Theresa Cammarata of Mt. Lebanon gets groceries delivered about twice a month, typically if she's taking care of a sick family member and can't get out of the house, or when the weather is bad. She said she also gets groceries delivered on the day she and her family come back from a vacation. Cammarata said the in-home delivery service could be particularly useful for the elderly or people with disabilities.
"Anyone going into your home when you're not there, especially someone you don't know, seems a little scary," Cammerata said. "But if you weren't physically capable of picking up your own groceries ... if I'm home I don't mind if someone puts it away for me."
Walmart made more than $184 billion in food sales in 2018, and has been eyeing Amazon's spot as the number one grocery delivery service. In recent years, the retail giant has shifted focus to e-commerce with some success; in the first quarter of 2019, Walmart announced that online had grown 37 percent.