Walmart Wants to Start Stocking Your Fridge When You're Not Even Home
Our kitchens may not yet be capable of 3D printing groceries (yet), but if Walmart has its way, we may never have to restock the fridge and pantry ourselves again. That's because the big-box behemoth is testing a new service that will not only deliver groceries to you, but bring them inside and put them away, even if you're not home.
Cheers to the convenient and ever-so-creepy future.
The program, announced in a blog post late last week by the company's VP of E-Commerce Strategy and Business Operations Sloan Eddleston, involves ordering grocery items from Walmart online, and allowing a small army of delivery associates who will have one-time access to your home to put perishable groceries away when you're not there.
Of course, the prospect of allowing a stranger to let themselves in to put some milk in your fridge while you're at work may strike most as a huge security risk, and it is. However, to assuage customers' fears, Walmart insists you can watch the whole delivery from your phone in real time, thanks to special smart home security equipment the company is using for the service.
Specifically, the retailer has partnered with a tech company called August Home to install special keypad-equipped smartlocks (they accept randomized one-time access codes from delivery personnel) and cameras in the homes of people testing out the new program. This allows the customer to get an alert on their phone when the delivery person attempts to unlock their door, and even watch them as they enter and put things away in real time via a dedicated app. Also, the delivery person will always first ring your bell to check if your home, in which case they'll just hand the items off to you.
As has been the case with many of its moves in the last few years, this is most certainly an attempt to keep up with Amazon, whose recent Whole Foods acquisition and subsequent price cuts pose yet another major threat to the big box chain's long-term bottom line. But don't expect in-kitchen deliveries from Walmart to be available in your area anytime soon. At the moment, the nascent program is only being tested with select customers in Silicon Valley, and will likely take a long time to bring to market at a large scale (if at all).
Until then, poor ol' you will have to continue picking up milk, eggs, meat ,and ice cream like a godforsaken common human.