Wal-Mart is expanding its grocery home-delivery program to include free in-store pickups in Denver.
Beginning Wednesday, consumers in the Denver area can order groceries and other merchandise online and swing by one of more than a dozen stores that day to pick up their basket of items.
The pick-ups will be available in the pharmacy drive-thru, where available, and customers can stay in their cars while groceries are loaded in their vehicle, according to Wal-Mart spokesman Ravi Jariwala.
The online grocery shopping service, called Walmart To Go, launched in a number of test markets in 2012.
The expansion to in-store pickups comes as the competition heats up for consumers’ changing grocery shopping habits. Amazon Fresh is Wal-Mart’s biggest competitor in that respect, but there are also dozens of startups trying to cash in on the trend, such as City Sprout, Good Eggs and Relay Foods.
In Europe, the popularity of click-and-collect groceries has been growing much faster than in the U.S., with top retailers Tesco and Carrefour building hundreds of collection sites and online-only warehouses in the past couple of years.
France has been at the forefront of the trend, with 20% of consumers using drive-thru collection for groceries ordered online, according to Reuters.
Food and consumer goods research group IGD has predicted that click-and-collect will grow French online grocery sales to 10.6 billion euros ($13.98 billion) by 2016 from 6.7 billion in 2013, Reuters reported.
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