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Walmart Is Making Another Change to Its Hours, Starting This Month

The retailer is looking to save shoppers "even more time" with a new option.

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Just a few years ago, there were 24-hour Walmart stores all across the U.S. That's no longer the case, and the big-box retailer has since continued to make adjustments to store hours. Last fall, Walmart made the decision to close some locations in the metro Atlanta area earlier in the night. Then a few months later, the company announced it would be implementing "sensory-friendly hours" at all of its stores across the country. Now, Walmart is making a change to delivery hours, but it's one customers are likely to appreciate. Read on to discover what the retailer is planning next.

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Walmart is expanding its delivery hours.

Walmart associate pulling groceries in a car to go

In a March 7 press release, Walmart unveiled its newest shopping option for customers: Express On-Demand Early Morning Delivery. This delivery choice will allow shoppers to order express delivery from stores starting at 6 a.m., which is "earlier than ever before," according to the company.

"As the clocks change for daylight saving time, Walmart is stepping up to save our customers even more time with our latest delivery offering," the retailer stated in its release. "This expanded timing offers them peace of mind knowing they can get things they need at their doorstep to kickstart the day."

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There will be an extra fee for the new delivery option.

Walmart deliver order sitting on doorstep

With Express On-Demand Early Morning Delivery, Walmart said shoppers will be able to get hundreds of millions of items delivered to them in as soon as 30 minutes during the early morning hours. Starting in mid-March, customers will have access to products like baby essentials, work attire, home appliances, and outdoor supples such as live bait.

Of course, this won't come without an extra cost. Tom Ward, executive vice president for Walmart U.S., told Axios that shoppers will have two different morning express options. For a $10 fee, they will receive their items in an hour or less. If they pick a three-hour delivery window, the fee will be reduced to $5. However, there will be another base delivery fee for shoppers who are not Walmart+ members.

"All customers need to do is open the Walmart app or and begin selecting their items," Walmart stated in its release. "And for Walmart+ members, standard delivery is always free."

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Walmart officials say shoppers want "more convenience."

Closeup of an almost empty shopping cart inside local Walmart
ZikG / Shutterstock

This is not the first time Walmart has expanded its delivery hours. Last September, the retailer unveiled Late-Night Express Delivery—which allows shoppers to receive express deliveries up to 10 p.m. for any orders placed by 9:30 p.m.

"People's expectations keep growing and we want to meet them where they're at," Ward told Axios. "They want more speed, more options and more convenience."

The new Express On-Demand Early Morning Delivery option is expanding on this idea, as a way to give shoppers more "time back," according to Ward.

Other retailers are expanding their same-day delivery options.

The entrance to a Target store with customers coming in and out
Sundry Photography/iStock

Across the board, many retailers are cluing into one common reality: Customers don't want to wait to get items delivered. In fact, Walmart's recent announcement comes just two days after Target unveiled a new paid membership program called Target Circle 360. Launching on April 7, this option will allow shoppers to get free same-delivery from Target's stores using the same-day delivery service Shipt.

Kroger has also pushed itself into the same-day delivery space. Now, Target, Walmart, and Kroger are using their abundance of locations and the short distance to customers' homes as their biggest advantage over Amazon, Michael Baker, a retail analyst for D.A. Davidson, told CNBC.

"This, over the last few years, has completely flipped the switch and turned stores into an asset," he said.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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