October 9, 2012, 10:51 AM

Wal-Mart tests same-day delivery for online purchases

The retail chain has delivered groceries to some online shoppers.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

What consumers in the test markets will see when using the new service.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will offer online shoppers in four metro areas same-day delivery of “popular general merchandise” items as part of what the retail chain calls an experiment as the holiday shopping season approaches.  

The chain is testing its “Walmart to Go” program for general merchandise in four markets: Northern Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.); Philadelphia; Minneapolis; and, in San Jose, CA and San Francisco starting in late November or early December.

Wal-Mart says that consumers can shop for such items as toys, electronics and sporting goods, and have those items fulfilled from local Wal-Mart stores via UPS. Consumers pay $10 per delivery. The cost applies to an unlimited number of items, and there is no minimum purchase.

Shoppers desiring same-day delivery in those markets visit walmart.com/togo to create accounts and enter their delivery addresses. “Customers can then browse the ‘Walmart To Go’ assortment online specific to their location,” the retail chain says. “Eligible items will carry the same prices as local Wal-Mart stores.”

Consumers have until noon local time to place orders for same-day delivery. Consumers can select four-hour delivery windows, such as between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

In Silicon Valley, Wal-Mart already has tested home delivery of groceries bought by online shoppers. Wal-Mart says that in a survey earlier this year of 1,500 consumers polled online and inside the chain’s stores, “the majority of respondents would consider same-day delivery if the option were available to them and over half said they would use this feature monthly or more frequently.”

Walmart.com is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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