Would You Let a Stranger Stock Your Fridge When You’re Not Home?

Walmart is poised to offer direct-to-fridge grocery delivery service.

Open Refrigerator with Assortment of Food and Beverages

Inside Refrigerator

Open Refrigerator with Assortment of Food and Beverages

Photo by: Antonio Truzzi ©Antonio Truzzi

Antonio Truzzi, Antonio Truzzi

Would you let a stranger into your house to stock your fridge when you’re not there? On the one hand, the convenience of an effortlessly full fridge! On the other, a stranger … in your house … without you there!

Walmart is betting its customers will overcome any misgivings and embrace the convenience of a having a well-stocked fridge without so much as lifting a finger.

The mega chain is launching a new InHome Delivery service that allows customers to order groceries and everyday essentials online and then have those items delivered directly to the refrigerator in their kitchen or garage – even when they are not home to receive them.

The new service takes aim at the Amazon Key delivery service, which, to prevent curb theft, brings customers’ packages inside their homes … but not (yet?) directly to their refrigerators. Walmart’s service works as follows: You place an order online and then choose InHome Delivery and a specific delivery date. Then sit back and relax while a Walmart staffer shops for you. A specially trained delivery person brings the groceries to your home and uses smart-entry technology to enter the home and head to the fridge to unload. For extra customer comfort and peace of mind, the delivery person wears a camera that allows customers to watch them enter and unload from wherever they happen to be.

By the end of the year, the service will also include the option to leave items to be returned to Walmart on the counter for the delivery worker to pick up.

The InHome Delivery service may sound a little futuristic (or, OK, intrusive) but it’s actually set to launch this fall for more than 1 million consumers in three U.S. cities -- Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Vero Beach, Florida – in a slow rollout to allow it to tweak the service as needed and make sure customers are ready for the future … now.

Walmart has not yet revealed how much it will charge customers for the new direct-to-fridge delivery service, but, not to be outdone, Target has already responded with a new delivery option of its own. The big box store announced Thursday it would expand same-day delivery from nine test markets to 47 states – and charge customers a flat fee of $9.99 per order for delivery – via the same-day delivery platform Shipt, which it owns.

So much convenience, so little time. Oh, wait. I guess that’s the point!

Photo: iStock

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