BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 3 (UPI) -- Walmart shoppers could soon have their groceries delivered by Uber drivers under a pilot program announced by the supermarket giant.
Chief executive Doug McMillon is set to unveil the partnership with car-hailing services Uber, Lyft and Deliv at Walmart's shareholder meeting on Friday.
The company said in a blog post that it expects the trial to start within the next two weeks in Denver, Colorado and one other market, reported to be Phoenix, Arizona.
In these two cities, customers will be able to place an order online and a Walmart employee will select the items, then contact Uber or a similar company for a driver to deliver the goods directly to the customer's location. There will be a charge of around $7-10 for the service, payable online.
"We'll start small and let our customers guide us, but testing new things like last-mile delivery enables us to better understand the various ways we can best serve our customers how, when and where they need," said Michael Bender, the operations chief for Walmart's e-commerce arm.
Walmart's expansion of its delivery service will intensify competition with rivals, including online retailer Amazon, which launched its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery business in 2007.
Until now, Walmart has mostly focused its online grocery push on curbside pickup, letting customers in some test markets pick up their orders by pulling up their cars and having store staff load up their trunks. The company on Thursday said that it would expand that service to 14 new markets by late June, for a total of 54 areas.
In January, McMillon told Walmart investors that the company would focus on being more aggressive, following the closure of 269 stores.