Cool

Walmart tests an outdoor "smart cooler" for anytime grocery delivery

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |

If a mailbox had a baby with a WiFi-connected Igloo cooler... you'd get HomeValet. This "smart cooler" chills on your doorstep, waiting for the grocery delivery so you don't have to. Walmart's partnering with the startup behind HomeValet for a grocery delivery pilot in Bentonville, Arkansas (aka: Walmart HQ).

  • Secure & contact-less: Only you and the delivery guy/gal can unlock the box.
  • Temp-controlled: Three temperature zones — refrigerated, frozen, and room temp (for the Nutella).
  • Phone-controlled: Set your HomeValet to 0° F straight from the app.
  • Disinfecting: Bacteria-crushing UV lights sanitize your eggplant.

Walmart isn't famous for its e-nnovation... but it is famous for groceries. Walmart = largest grocer in the US. This partnership with HomeValet could give it an innovative edge against techy Instacart and Amazon. In fact, Walmart customers will be the first to gain access to HomeValet boxes (they haven't even dropped yet).

THE TAKEAWAY

Prime goes wide, Walmart+ goes deep... into grocery. Makes sense, since groceries account for over half of Walmart's sales. ICYMI: Walmart+ is the $98/year Amazon Prime rival. Prime offers everything from free shipping, to video, to Music, and yes... grocery delivery. But Walmart+ has one major selling point: free unlimited grocery delivery. HomeValet could level up Walmart's grocery by expanding perks.