Wal-Mart to offer free grocery pickup in some US cities

Walmart offering grocery pick-up

Wal-Mart Stores said it would offer customers who buy groceries online the option to pick up their orders from the parking lots of nearby stores.

The retailer will roll out the free service from this month in certain U.S. cities after trial runs proved popular, Michael Bender, chief operating officer of Wal-Mart's global ecommerce, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Shoppers have to choose a pick up time and drive into a nearby store's parking lot, where associates would load the items into their cars, Wal-Mart said.

The service will be available in Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and Fayetteville, North Carolina; Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah; Nashville, Tennessee; Tucson, Arizona and Colorado Springs, Colorado, the company said.

Wal-Mart said it will extend the service to more markets in the coming weeks.

The $10.9 billion U.S. online grocery shopping industry is expected to grow 9.6 percent annually through 2019, according to a December report by market research firm IbisWorld.

One of the largest players in the market is's Amazon Fresh, which delivers in Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, and northern and southern California.

Target said this month it will partner with Instacart to deliver groceries for as little as $3.99 per order.