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Technology/Services

Walmart Launches Direct-to-Fridge Delivery

New service receives chilly response online
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — After two years of testing, Walmart is making its direct-to-fridge delivery service, dubbed InHome Delivery, available to more than 1 million customers this fall. The new service is designed to bring groceries straight to consumers’ fridges while they are not at home.

The online response when Walmart launched tests of the new service ranged from excited to curious and downright angry, as reported by CSP Daily News at the time. Now, the in-fridge delivery service is officially coming to three cities: Kansas City, Mo., Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Fla., and it includes new features added since the initial test phase.

While the original test sent mobile updates to customers during the delivery process, the updated service is going one step further by putting a body camera on the Walmart employees making deliveries, which customers can monitor directly.

Walmart associates making InHome deliveries are put through an “extensive training program,” according to a recent Walmart blog post, in which they learn how to respectfully navigate a customer’s home while the customer is not present.

In addition to delivering groceries, InHome associates will also be able to accept returns for items purchased on Walmart.com. According to the blog post, customers can simply leave the item they wish to return on their counter and the delivery associate will return the item for the customer.

The response online to the new service has been mixed. Some are more positive. “I am excited to see this going!” wrote one customer on Walmart’s Facebook page. “This isn’t something for everyone, I understand, but this is such an amazing idea for the company to offer.” Others are not nearly as optimistic. “I do Walmart grocery a lot, but there’s NO way I’m going to give them access to enter my apartment without me being there,” wrote another customer on the company’s Facebook page.

Other commenters acknowledged that InHome Delivery might best serve specific customer sets. “This would be a good idea for the senior citizens that can’t get out or lift or put things away very well,” wrote one commenter, who was still hesitant to use the service themselves. “For me, I don’t want any strangers in my house. You never know what they’ll see and who they’ll tell. Just because they work for Walmart doesn’t mean every employee is trustworthy.”

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