Walmart is partnering with grocery delivery platform Instacart in yet another bid to rival Amazon and its growing offline network of Whole Foods stores and same- and one-day Prime delivery. The partnership, first reported on Tuesday by CNBC, means Walmart customers in four pilot markets spanning California and Oklahoma can now choose Walmart’s grocery options when putting together an Instacart order.
Instacart already works with major grocery chains like Albertsons, Aldi, Costco, Kroger, and Target, as well as smaller chain stores like Wegmans and pharmacies like CVS. The platform also has an existing partnership with Walmart-owned Sam’s Club that will remain intact. The addition of Walmart — Amazon’s primary rival that has been working to establish its own grocery delivery network — should help both the retailer and Instacart fend off competition from Amazon-owned Whole Foods and the e-commerce giant’s Amazon Fresh and Prime Pantry services.
Thanks to its Prime membership and fast-growing logistics network, Amazon is able to link its Whole Foods stores with its Prime shipping benefits, allowing for all sorts of grocery shopping and delivery perks that give Amazon an edge over even established brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart. But linking up with Instacart — which, similar to Amazon, has seen its business boom thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic — might help Walmart in the online ordering and logistics side of the business.
“Today, we welcomed Walmart to the Instacart marketplace for the first time in the U.S. Instacart now delivers from Walmart locations in three California markets — Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego — as well as Tulsa, Oklahoma,” an Instacart spokesperson said in a statement given to CNBC. “The new partnership brings thousands of items — from groceries, alcohol and pantry staples to home decor and improvement, personal care, electronics and more — at everyday low prices from Walmart stores to customers’ doors in as fast as an hour.”