A La Amazon, Walmart Delivers Groceries to Garage or Kitchen Fridge

Walmart is launching an in-the-fridge e-grocery delivery service it announced this summer, starting in Pittsburgh, Vero Beach, FL and Kansas City, a service that Amazon began offering last year as Walmart began trialing it.

After checking to see if their address is eligible for the service, called InHome, Walmart customers can choose either kitchen or garage fridge delivery. They have to buy a $49.95 smart lock device for the garage or front door, with Walmart covering the installation fee. The monthly subscription cost is $19.95, with a $30 minimum order threshold and the first month free.

Walmart delivery associates will use smart entry technology and a proprietary, wearable camera to access customer’s homes, allowing them to both control access and view deliveries remotely to address security concerns.

“We’re obsessed with simplifying grocery shopping and finding ways to make our customers’ lives easier” Walmart said in a blog post announcing the news. “That’s why InHome goes the extra step so that our customers can live their lives without worrying about making it to the store or being home to accept a delivery.”

Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said InHome was tested for the past six months. “We wanted to make sure we tested and learned, and chose the right technology partners to launch with before we began to scale,” Jariwala said. He added InHome was created out of Walmart’s Store No. 8 startup incubator.

The news of InHome going live comes a month after the retailer announced a nationwide expansion of its subscription e-grocery delivery program. It is available at 1,400 Walmart stores in the U.S., growing to 1,600 by the end of the year. Grocery Unlimited costs $98 per year, about the same as Prime’s old price, or $12.95 per month.

“(InHome is) a service we plan to grow and scale aggressively” Bart Stein, Walmart senior vice president of membership and InHome told CNBC. He added the first three cities “represent variety of factors across demographics, stores and more operationally that set us up the best and quickest to scale nationwide.”