BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Beginning this spring, participating customers in Bentonville will be able to order fresh groceries from Walmart and have them delivered to a temperature-controlled “smart box” placed outside their door.
The Bentonville-based retailer is partnering with HomeValet —a contactless delivery startup — to pilot fresh grocery delivery. Utilizing HomeValet’s temperature-controlled smart box, the company says customers will be able to receive “secure, contactless deliveries with the peace of mind knowing their grocery items will stay fresh.”
“As our founder, Sam Walton, once said, “To succeed, stay out in front of change.” It’s why we’re continuously testing new technology, like drones and autonomous vehicles, to find new ways to serve customers,” Tom Ward, SVP of customer product for Walmart U.S. said on the company’s corporate blog. “Which made us think – what if we could conveniently deliver fresh groceries to a customer’s front door any time of the day, whether they’re home or not? That’s what we’ll be exploring in our new pilot with HomeValet.”
The HomeValet smart box includes three temperature-controlled zones and can store frozen, refrigerated and pantry items, according to Walmart. When it’s time for delivery to be made, the smart box communicates with the delivery provider’s device, “giving them secure access to the smart box to complete the delivery.”
Walmart says the prospect of the technology is intriguing for both customers and the company’s last-mile delivery efforts.
“For customers, they don’t need to plan their day around when their grocery delivery will be made. For Walmart, it presents an opportunity to deliver items 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Ward. “While we don’t have plans to do 24/7 delivery today, it certainly has a nice ring to it.”
HomeValet is currently accepting reservations to purchase its Smart Box. The cost of the device has not yet been announced.