Walmart (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, is testing a new technology that could make grocery delivery possible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This spring, the big-box retailing giant will let customers in its hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas receive grocery deliveries in a temperature-controlled HomeValet smart box located outside their homes even when no one is home.
“This gives customers the ability to receive secure, contactless deliveries with the peace of mind knowing their grocery items will stay fresh,” Tom Ward, SVP of customer product for Walmart U.S., wrote in a blog post.
HomeValet’s internet of things (IoT) smart box allows groceries to be stored in three temperature zones, including frozen, refrigerated, and pantry. The box also communicates with the delivery associate’s device to provide secure access for delivery.
“For Walmart, it presents an opportunity to deliver items 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While we don’t have plans to do 24/7 delivery today, it certainly has a nice ring to it,” Ward added.
In the most recent quarterly results, Walmart said its grocery pickup and delivery posted record-high sales volumes. At the end of the third quarter, Walmart offered its online grocery pickup service at 3,600 locations and same-day delivery at approximately 2,900 stores.
Walmart operates a fleet of more than 4,700 stores in the U.S. Approximately 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. The retailer’s current grocery delivery offering covers about two-thirds of the country.
Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.