Walmart is reeling in higher-income customers — including some who are new to the retailer — with its online grocery business, company executives told investors Tuesday at an event in New York.
As its online grocery business grows, the company is seeing pricier items like choice cuts of meat and organic fruits and vegetables in customers’ virtual baskets, said John Furner, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S.
He said the convenience of the service “aligns well with someone who is time-starved and has higher income levels.”
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant has an expansive footprint across the U.S., but has tended to have stronger loyalty among shoppers in suburbs, small towns and rural areas. It bought Jet.com for $3.3 billion in 2016, with the hopes of winning over the e-commerce company’s customers that tended to be younger, more affluent and urban. Jet.com has been wound down, but the company has bought other brands to expand its customer base — such as menswear company Bonobos.
Walmart offers online grocery pickup at about 3,200 stores and same-day grocery delivery at more than 1,600 stores, as of the fourth quarter. It’s testing a new service called InHome that delivers groceries straight to customers’ refrigerators. It is only available at some stores in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida.
Furman said Walmart’s range of groceries, including prime beef and organics, has helped draw in different kinds of customers. Once they buy groceries, he said those new or more affluent customers may purchase an item in another department of the store or part of Walmart’s website.