Walmart renting homes to train InHome delivery workers

InHome is active in three U.S. cities, Vero Beach, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Walmart is renting homes across the country in an effort to train employees for its new InHome delivery service, Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman confirmed to FOX Business.

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The retail giant announced its plan for the service, similar to that of Amazon's in-home delivery, in June.

Walmart has rented out a number of facilities to train InHome employees, Blakeman said, adding that the program is "truly a training exercise to make sure [Walmart's] associates are familiar with the InHome process so they can give great service to customers and get to know the correct process and procedures of InHome."

InHome is active in three U.S. cities, Vero Beach, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Walmart plans to expand the service in other cities across the country this year.

InHome service. (Walmart)

"It's a service that Walmart customers can use to order groceries online from the comfort of their couches or at work and have them delivered to their garages or in their homes, depending on what they're comfortable with," Blakeman said.

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"It feels a bit like magic because customers never have to walk into a grocery store to get their food delivered, and InHome employees leave the deliveries wherever customers want."

- Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman

Through the service, Walmart customers can place grocery orders online that get delivered the same day, depending on how they schedule the service; orders can also be placed ahead of time. Customers will be able to go about their daily tasks while InHome employees shop for their orders and deliver them to customers' homes. The service will also come in handy for people with physical disabilities.

Workers will be equipped with wearable body cameras and use pre-installed "smart-entry technology" to ensure customer safety. Customers can watch a livestream of the delivery process and will receive notifications when the delivery is on its way, being delivered and complete.

InHome service. (Walmart)

Employees are also required to wear surgical booties so they do not track mud or dirt into homes and place a hanger on customers' front doors when they are performing in-home deliveries so as to avoid the element of surprise.

"It feels a bit like magic because customers never have to walk into a grocery store to get their food delivered, and InHome employees leave the deliveries wherever customers want," Blakeman said, adding that it saved some money and a lot of time.

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All InHome employees are required to undergo background tests and have a year of work experience with Walmart, though Blakeman said the average tenure for InHome delivery workers "is more than 10 years" and each employee is handpicked by Walmart.

"There's an extreme level of detail and an abundant amount of communication," Blakeman said. "We are really ahead of the curve here."

InHome. (Walmart)

The new program has been largely successful so far, with a 90 percent retention rate, meaning 90 percent of customers who have tried it once have used it again, according to Blakeman.

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She added that while there is always a level of skepticism surrounding services involving strangers coming into a customer's personal space, these kinds of programs are slowly but surely becoming a part of people's everyday lives.

"I think it's really interesting," she said. "Ten years ago, were you really going to download an app to get in a stranger's car? My mother taught me everything against that.

"But as people become more comfortable with tech, these things become more commonplace. Customers are absolutely in love with this program."

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