Walmart is the latest retailer to offer a delivery option for Twin Cities shoppers who prefer to have their groceries delivered to them rather than schlepping to the store themselves.

The nation's largest grocer is rolling out its grocery delivery service, which it began testing in 2016 in a handful of markets, to more than 100 metro areas by the end of this year. The Twin Cities, where its service will launch on Thursday, is the 14th region to get it.

Walmart's employees pick the items and then it uses third-party operators such as Deliv to transport them from stores to customers' homes. Walmart is no longer using Uber and Lyft to make such deliveries. In the Twin Cities, Walmart is partnering with DoorDash, which is one of the retailer's newer delivery partners.   

Walmart is going head to head with Target, which is also ramping up its same-day grocery offering via its subsidiary, Shipt, which it now available in more than 700 stores and 80 markets, including the Twin Cities. Target expects to have same-day grocery delivery via Shipt up and running from most of its stores in over 40 states by the holidays.

But the two offerings have their differences, particularly when it comes to pricing. Target requires an annual membership of $99 or a monthly subscription of $14 per month for Shipt in order to get unlimited free deliveries on orders over $35. Meanwhile, Walmart charges a flat $9.95 fee for delivery orders of more than $30. (Walmart customers can get their first order delivered for free with promo code FRESHCAR with a $50 minimum order.)

Both retailers are getting their grocery delivery game up to snuff in the wake of Amazon's purchase last year of Whole Foods. Amazon has since launched free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods in 10 cities (not including the Twin Cities) to members of its Prime program.

Other grocery delivery options in the Twin Cities include CobornsDelivers and Instacart, which delivers for grocers such as Cub Foods, Whole Foods, Costco and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. In addition, Lunds & Byerlys has its own online grocery delivery service.

To access Walmart's new service, go to walmart.com/grocery or to Walmart's grocery mobile app. During checkout, customers can select a one-hour delivery window, with options including that same day. The retailer pledges that in-store prices are the same as online prices.

Walmart's delivery area in the Twin Cities will include suburban areas such as Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Apple Valley, Blaine and Maple Grove.

Online grocery delivery is an extension of Walmart's curbside pickup service, which is currently available at 13 stores around the Twin Cities, with another 14 slated to get it later this year as part of store remodels.

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