The online grocery war between Amazon and Walmart is heating up this month in Southern California as the Arkansas retail giant rolls out curbside pickup in several local markets, including Foothill Ranch.
The South Orange County Walmart is among 26 stores adding “online grocery pickup” this week in California, bringing the total statewide to 36. Other curbside pickup locations are in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Diego. (See list of addresses below.)
The free service, first launched in 2015, allows shoppers to choose from a range of 30,000 online items — from ground beef to a gallon of milk — and even school supplies. The Foothill Ranch program begins Thursday, Aug. 3. The store has designated six parking stalls for customers.
“You just pop your trunk,” company spokeswoman Tiffany Wilson said.
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Wilson said customers can pre-purchase bags or have the Walmart employee, dubbed a “personal shopper,” bag all the groceries in reusable bags provided by the shopper at their car. No unbuckling is necessary as everything is done for you at no extra charge, she said.
The 26 stores in California join more than 800 Walmarts across the country that offer curbside pickup of groceries. Walmart has been slowly rolling out the program in various markets as part of a larger strategy to provide more grocery options.
“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, Walmart’s eCommerce market coach, said in a statement.
Walmart said more than 90 percent of shoppers ordering curbside pickup tend to buy fresh meat, dairy and produce.
The retailer is expanding its curbside pickup program as Amazon continues to dominate the e-commerce market. Amazon, which recently bought Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion, accounted for 33 percent of U.S. online sales last year, according to the research firm Euromonitor. Wal-Mart is in second place ahead of eBay, with 7.8 percent.
Roughly 31 million households have an Amazon Prime membership or have access to one, according to market research firm NPD Group. Roughly 52 percent of online grocery shoppers are Amazon Prime members, NPD said.
Grocery delivery services such as Postmates and Instacart are also disrupting the marketplace. Locally, they deliver food from Whole Foods Market, Stater Bros., BevMo!, Smart & Final, Costco, Ralphs, Petco, CVS and Aldi.
The Foothill Ranch store is at 26502 Towne Center Drive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
new Curbside pickup sites in California
Here’s a list of the other 25 stores in California launching curbside pickup this month. The list includes the launch dates this week. Various stores in the Inland Empire began the service Tuesday.
• 5625 Calloway Drive, Bakersfield (8/1)
• 1249 Allen Road, Bakersfield
• 5075 Gosford Road, Bakersfield (8/1)
• 530 Woollomes Ave., Delano (8/1)
• 5125 East Kings Canyoon Road, Fresno (8/3)
• 7065 N. Ingram Ave., Fresno, (8/3)
• 2761 Jensen Ave., Sanger (8/3)
• 1185 Herndon Ave., Clovis (8/3)
• 40130 10th Street West, Palmdale (8/1)
• 37140 47th Street East, Palmdale (8/1)
• 26471 Carl Boyer Drive, Santa Clarita (8/1)
• 1333 North Mountain Ave., Ontario (8/1)
• 1827 Walnut Grove Ave., Rosemead (8/1)
• 859 W. Florida Ave., Hemet (8/2)
• 1800 N. Perris Blvd., Perris (8/1)
• 13401 Main St., Hesperia (8/1)
• 12721 Moreno Beach Drive, Moreno Valley (8/1)
• 13425 Community Road, Poway (8/2)
• 1360 Eastlake Parkway, Chula Vista (8/2)
• 1540 E. 2nd Street, Beaumont (8/2)
• 79295 US HWY 111, La Quinta (8/3)
• 1800 University Drive, Vista, (8/3)
• 82-491 AVENUE 42, Indio (8/3)
• 1266 East Valley Parkway, Escondido (8/3)
• 34500 Monterey Ave., Palm Desert (8/3)