By Andrew S. Ross for SFGate.com
April 26, 2011
Rather than wait for a Walmart to open up in San Francisco - we know how high a mountain that will be to climb - what about having its groceries and other stuff delivered directly to our door?
Some San Jose neighborhoods began test-driving the idea over the weekend, in anticipation of a broader rollout of a "Walmart To Go" in the not-too-distant future.
The Bentonville, Ark., megachain would say little about the planned e-commerce expansion, its timing or the pilot program in San Jose.
"Our focus is listening to customers and learning from their feedback," said Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala. "We will continue to test and evaluate this feature, and share additional details at a later time, as necessary."
However, a Walmart To Go web page is already up (in beta), touting home delivery "starting at $5" and featuring mostly packaged vittles, such as Foster Farms chicken breast strips and Sara Lee bread, along with health and beauty and household supplies.
The web-based service, called "Project Titan," would fulfill and deliver same-day orders to customers in proximity to a Walmart store.
"Wal-Mart needs to get more serious about e-commerce, so that would be interesting," Matt Nemer, a Wells Fargo analyst, told Bloomberg News. "Grocery delivery works in urban markets, and they already do it in the U.K., so they have experience."
San Francisco progressives shouldn't be alarmed at the prospect of Walmart trucks tooling around the city anytime soon. Currently, the closest stores to San Francisco are 15 miles away, in Oakland and Richmond.
You can check if and when Walmart To Go is coming to your neighborhood at sfg.ly/fs6CnZ.