Attention Walmart shoppers: Drones are swarming around more of the retailer’s stores across the U.S.
Customers near the Walmart Supercenter in Winter Haven, Florida, are among the latest to have the option of grocery items delivered by drone in 30 minutes or less.
The store just east of Lakeland was among 36 Walmart stores in seven states that have drone delivery hubs recently launched by DroneUp, Flytrex and Zipline.
Walmart and other big businesses including Amazon have dived into drone delivery in recent years. Walmart began testing drone delivery in 2020 and in 2021 announced an investment in drone company DroneUp. Since then, the retailer has continued to offer drone deliveries to more markets and customers.
Where in the U.S. is Walmart offering drone deliveries?
- Neighborhood Market #2975
3959 Broadway Blvd, Garland, Texas
- Walmart Supercenter #3224
555 W Interstate 30, Garland, Texas
- Walmart Supercenter #1800
1801 Marketplace Dr, Garland, Texas
- Walmart Supercenter #2973
115 West Fm 544, Murphy, Texas
- Neighborhood Market #5657
3100 Custer Rd, Plano, Texas
- Neighborhood Market #2974
1501 Buckingham Rd, Richardson, Texas
- Neighborhood Market #2976
915 N Town East Blvd, Mesquite, Texas
- Neighborhood Market #3015
2827 S Buckner Blvd, Dallas, Texas
- Neighborhood Market #5021
2275 Gus Thomasson Rd, Dallas, Texas
- Walmart Supercenter #3225
2501 Lakeview Pkwy, Rowlett, Texas
- Walmart Supercenter #426
4691 State Highway 121, Colony, Texas
- Walmart Supercenter #2695
1450 Johns Lake Rd, Clermont, Florida
- Walmart Supercenter #994
8745 State Road 54, New Port Richey, Florida
- Walmart Supercenter #941
2140 Bloomingdale Avenue, Valrico, Florida
- Walmart Supercenter #5299
550 Us Highway 27, Clermont, Florida
- Walmart Supercenter #3347
7450 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, Florida
- Walmart Supercenter #2740
19910 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, Florida
- Walmart Supercenter #3463
1208 E Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida
- Neighborhood Market #5622
10863 Bloomingdale Ave, Riverview, Florida
- Walmart #925
11720 E Dr. Martin Luther King, Seffner, Florida
- Neighborhood Market #4293
2435 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, Arizona
- Neighborhood Market #3314
7450 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, Arizona
- Walmart Supercenter #3896
21655 N Lake Pleasant Pkwy, Peoria, Arizona
- Walmart Supercenter #1533
7975 W Peoria Ave, Peoria, Arizona
- Walmart Supercenter #3241
18551 N 83rd Ave, Glendale, Arizona
- Walmart Supercenter #1532
5845 W Bell Rd, Glendale, Arizona
- Neighborhood Market #7242
367 W Main St, Farmington, Arkansas
- Walmart Supercenter #100
406 S Walton Blvd, Bentonville, Arkansas
- Neighborhood Market #5837
5000 W Pauline Whitaker Pkwy, Rogers, Arkansas
- Neighborhood Market #6971
240 Slack St, Pea Ridge, Arkansas
- Neighborhood Market #6226
1832 Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Walmart Supercenter #3216
1149 Nimmo Pkwy, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Walmart Supercenter #2529
- 2021 Lynnhaven Pkwy, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Walmart Supercenter #5270
585 N State St, Lindon, Utah
- Neighborhood Market #7168
- 5056 W 13400 S, Herriman, Utah
- Walmart Supercenter #5787
4545 Fayetteville Road, Raeford, North Carolina
How far can you get Walmart groceries delivered?
So far, drone deliveries are only permitted within a 0.8-mile radius but as soon as the Federal Aviation Administration allows it, the aerial drop-offs could expand to a 2-mile radius of the store, as some locations on the West Coast are already being studied.
How many groceries can you get delivered?
The service comes in a box with a 10-pound capacity that fits about two loaves of bread.
More than 10,000 eligible items are available for delivery, there is no minimum order amount and the delivery fee is $3.99.
So far, prescription drugs are not being flown but that is in the works for later this year. Some drone delivery hubs have been in operation for a year, including one in Walmart’s corporate hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas.
Last year, according to Walmart, the drone hubs completed 6,000 deliveries.
The top five customer orders:
- Ice cream
- Rotisserie chicken
- Red Bull
- Paper towels
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How does it work?
Keith Christensen, hub leader at DroneUp, told The Ledger, part of the USA TODAY Network, customers near the Winter Haven Walmart can order via the website (droneupdelivery.com) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
The drone hub employee then takes their smart phone with them inside the Walmart store and picks out the order for the customer, Christensen said. The hub employee enters each item they shop for on their phone and the customers can see in real time how their order is coming together.
“Once the aircraft is airborne another update will go out to the customer saying that the drone is in the air and on its way to your house,” he said.
The drones reach a cruising altitude of around 223 feet after takeoff from the Winter Haven hub and hover over the delivery location at 80 feet after arrival. A winch lowers the box containing the items to the ground and it detaches once the box makes a soft landing on the ground. The winch system then releases from the box and recoils to the drone before the aircraft returns to the hub at 223 feet.
Walmart customers can expect more stores to get drone delivery. The retailer said on its corporate website, 4,700 of Walmart stores are located within 90% of the U.S. population, making the multinational retailer “uniquely positioned to offer drone delivery at scale.”
Contributing: Paul Nutcher, The Ledger
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
Story Credit: usatoday.com