San Diego

Walmart Launching Online Grocery Pickup Service at 4 Local Stores

Walmart is launching a new online grocery pickup service at four San Diego County stores starting on Aug. 2, allowing shoppers to pick up items they’ve ordered in advance online or through the company’s mobile grocery app, the retailer announced.

A company statement said the service begins Aug. 2 at its stores at 13425 Community Road in Poway, and 1360 Eastlake Pkwy. in Chula Vista. On Aug. 3, it will be launched at 1800 University Drive in Vista, and at 1266 E. Valley Pkwy. in Escondido.

Under the free service, customers will be able to shop and pay for groceries and household goods through or the Walmart Grocery app. Orders will be filled by “personal shoppers,” who are full-time Walmart employees.

When customers arrive for pickup, they can pull into a designated area outside the store and their groceries will be placed in their vehicle.

The Walmart program arrives as many grocery sellers nationwide are bracing for the potential impact of Amazon Inc.’s pending acquisition of Whole Foods Market. Provided the $13.7 billion deal is approved by regulators, industry observers anticipate that the e-commerce giant will significantly ramp up online and mobile-app-enabled delivery of groceries to consumers nationwide.

The Vista store is among several nationwide where Walmart has recently set up a pickup area inside the store for general merchandise items ordered online, in response to existing competition from Amazon and other online retailers.

Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates 28 stores under various formats in San Diego County. It is the world’s largest retailer and the biggest seller of groceries in the U.S.

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