By The Associated Press
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Saturday that it is testing home grocery delivery in San Jose, Calif., as the world’s largest retailer ratchets up competition with online retailer Amazon.com Inc.
With the new “Walmart To Go,” customers can order up groceries, health and beauty products such as soap, shampoo and over-the-counter medicines, and household supplies like paper towels and laundry detergent from the company’s website. Wal-Mart will then drive the goods over to customers’ homes at their time of choice.
Wal-Mart said that the San Jose launch is a limited test only. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company didn’t provide details on other possible test markets. But its website already has a section on which interested customers can learn about the service and enter their zipcodes to see if it’s available in their area.
If it was to go nationwide, the move may help Wal-Mart wrestle market share away from Amazon.com Inc. That retailer launched its U.S. grocery delivery service in 2007 and has since expanded to Germany and Britain.
Wal-Mart is facing increasing price competition from dollar chains and online retailers. Many major retailers have been beefing up their Web businesses to grab some of the continuing growth online and keep their sites competitive. They’re adding millions of grocery and other products, new kinds of services and even alliances with rival retailers.