Walmart Expands Program That Delivers Right to Your Fridge

Walmart employee places items inside a customer's refrigerator
A Walmart delivery person places items inside a customer's refrigerator. (Walmart)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

Deliveries are going beyond the front door.

Walmart can now drop off groceries right into customers’ refrigerators in the Tampa, Fla., area, the retailer announced July 6.

The company’s InHome delivery service allows customers to place an online order, have employees pick up the items from the store and drop them off in the shopper’s home or garage. Traditional front door delivery remains an option.

Walmart said in January it would expand InHome delivery to 30 million households. The company doubled its footprint July 6 by adding the service to Tampa; Miami; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas; Austin, Texas; San Jose, Calif.; and San Francisco. The expansion is set to bring 164 jobs to the Tampa Bay region, Walmart said.

But how does it work? And is it secure?

Customers can sync the smart locks in their home or purchase one through Walmart that will generate a one-time password for a Walmart employee to use upon delivery, according to the company. An employee will wear a camera attached to their vest during the delivery and once they’re done, customers will get the recording that’s available for a week after the delivery was made.

The employee will disinfect surfaces they touched before leaving and lock the door, Walmart said in a news release.

The service is available every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and shoppers can choose whether they want the products dropped off in their fridge, garage or front door. Groceries also can be packed in zippered bags or brown paper bags.

“We promised at the start of the year to considerably scale InHome throughout the country and offering it in Tampa is a big step forward in where we’re headed,” Whitney Pegden, vice president and general manager of Walmart InHome, said in a statement.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing above or go here for more info

The InHome delivery is the latest step Walmart has taken to boost its delivery options in the Tampa Bay area while it competes with e-commerce giant Amazon. In May, the Arkansas-based retailer announced it will bring drone delivery to the city by the end of the year. Walmart drones are able to deliver products in just 30 minutes, and will lower a package weighing less than 10 pounds in front of houses using a cable.

For the InHome service, Walmart said it will be using 100% electric vehicles for delivery.

Walmart’s website offers a 30-day free trial, and says the cost after the free trial is $19.95 a month or $138 a year for unlimited deliveries.

Walmart Inc. ranks No. 3 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC