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Walmart starts delivering groceries straight into Tampa fridges

Employees get a one-time code to unlock a shopper’s door and will wear a camera on their vest recording the delivery, the retailer said.
A Walmart associate will wear a camera on their vest when delivering groceries to a customer's home.
A Walmart associate will wear a camera on their vest when delivering groceries to a customer's home. [ COURTESTY OF WALM | Walmart/Wesley Hitt ]
Published Jul. 6

Deliveries are going beyond the front door.

Walmart can now drop off groceries right into customer’s refrigerators in the Tampa area, the retailer said announced Wednesday.

The company’s InHome delivery service is where customers place an order and employees pick up the items from the store and drop them off in the shopper’s home or garage. Traditional front door delivery is also still an option.

Walmart said in January it would expand InHome delivery to 30 million households. The company doubled its footprint Wednesday by adding the service to Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, Austin, Texas, San Jose, California, 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.

A Walmart associate delivering groceries to a customer's refrigerator through the retailer's InHome service that's now expanding to Tampa.
A Walmart associate delivering groceries to a customer's refrigerator through the retailer's InHome service that's now expanding to Tampa. [ COURTESTY OF WALM | Walmart/Wesley Hitt ]

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 can also 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,” said Whitney Pegden, vice president and general manager of Walmart InHome in a statement.

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 houses using a cable.

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

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