Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT:US) is testing same- day delivery of general merchandise ordered online as it seeks to bolster its e-commerce business ahead of the holiday shopping season.
The retailer began testing the Wal-Mart To Go delivery service in Minneapolis, Northern Virginia and Philadelphia this month, according to an e-mailed statement today. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, plans to add the service, which costs $10, in San Jose, California and San Francisco by early November.
The move is Wal-Mart’s latest attempt to leverage its brick-and-mortar stores to boost online sales amid competition from Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US), the world’s biggest online retailer. In 2010, Wal-Mart debuted Site to Store, allowing shoppers to order goods online and pick them up in person and the chain already delivers groceries ordered on the Web in San Francisco and San Jose.
The new service “is a huge opportunity for us and we believe that it is uniquely Wal-Mart,” Bill Simon, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S., said at a conference Sept. 5.
Under the program, customers can order merchandise such as toys, electronics and sporting goods online before noon and choose a 4-hour window from 4 p.m. onward for delivery. There’s no minimum-purchase requirement, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said.
Local stores will supply the products, which will be delivered by United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS:US), except in San Jose and San Francisco, which has the existing grocery-delivery service. There is no end-date set for the program, the company said.
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