Wal-Mart news briefs: grocery pickup, Walmart Canada drops fee, new COO at Walmart India

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,412 views 

Southern California is a highly competitive market for Walmart U.S. and with Amazon bearing down on the grocery front, Walmart U.S. rolled out curbside grocery pickup in 26 cities from Los Angeles to San Diego. The retail giant said the addition brings the statewide total to 36 for the free curbside pickup.

The 26 stores in California join more than 800 Walmart U.S. stores across the country that offer curbside pickup of groceries. Wal-Mart has slowly rolled out the program in various markets as part of a larger strategy to provide more grocery options. There is a caveat in California with the plastic bags as the state has banned them. Wal-Mart said customers can pre-purchase bags or have the Wal-Mart employee put the groceries in reusable bags provided by the shopper at their car.

“Our customers have told us that grocery pickup is a game changer. They are now able to complete their grocery shopping in a matter of minutes — between errands or on their way home — without ever getting out of the car,” Susan Vanderlip, Wal-Mart’s e Commerce market coach, said in a statement.

Walmart U.S. has said more than 90% of shoppers ordering curbside pickup tend to buy fresh meat, dairy and produce.

The revolving door in Wal-Mart’s India division continues. The retail giant recently named Devendra Chawla as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the retailer’s cash and carry business. Chawla has more than 22 years experience in retail.

He will manage merchandising, marketing and omnichannel functions for Walmart India’s cash and carry business and will report to Krish Iyer, president and CEO of Walmart India.

Chawla was formerly CEO of Future Consumer Limited as well as group president of food for Brands Future Group. He also has worked for Coca Cola and Reliance Retail.

“With this appointment, we are well positioned to better serve our customers while strengthening our overall business. Devendra’s experience is perfectly suited for aligning our transformation and growth journey with our core business strengths while serving our customers uniquely and in the most efficient ways,” Iyer noted in a statement.

As of Aug. 1, consumers in Canada who order groceries online at Walmart.ca and are picked up at the store or a Penguin’s Pickup location will no longer pay a $2.97 pickup fee for that service. The retail giant said it eliminated the pickup fee to save customers more money.

“We are thrilled to be able to cancel the pickup fee” said Daryl Porter, vice president omnichannel operations and online grocery at Walmart Canada. “While it only represents a fraction of a typical grocery order, we don’t believe customers should have to pay even a penny more than necessary when they shop with us.”

Walmart Canada’s online grocery service provides customers the convenience of selecting grocery items online at Walmart.ca and have them ready for pickup at their local participating Walmart store. The service is very much akin to the pickup service offered in the U.S., which has never charged a pickup fee. Walmart stores in Ottawa, Toronto area, Calgary and Edmonton now offer online grocery pick up.