Walmart Inc. is planning a service that will put groceries directly into customers’ refrigerators.
Beginning this fall, about 1 million people in Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Vero Beach, Fla. will be able to use the service. Walmart employees wearing cameras will unpack the food in customers’ kitchens.
“Once we learned how to do pickup well, we knew it would unlock the ability to deliver,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “What if we not only cover the last mile to customers’ homes, but even the last few steps?”
The service, called Walmart InHome, will be led by Bart Stein, who joined Walmart last year and had been working inside the company’s Store No. 8 incubator on a project code-named “Franklin,” according to Bloomberg.
Fees and other details of the new service weren’t disclosed, but Stein emphasized that delivery staff won’t enter any home without the customers’ real-time consent, transmitted through its shopping app. Customers can then watch the delivery happen remotely and can also choose to get food delivered to their garage rather than the kitchen.
“The camera will have to be streaming before access is granted,” Stein told Bloomberg. “In our pilot testing, we were concerned about trust. But one delivery can turn someone from a skeptic into a believer.”
Customers can also leave unwanted items that they want to return to Walmart for the driver, who will bring them back to the store.