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Reuters reports that Walmart has decided to expand its free click-and-collect grocery service into eight new markets, including Austin, Kansas City, Boise, Richmond, and Charleston.

The retailer that the expansion comes as it "gains confidence it can make the strategy work on a larger scale." It "includes adding stores in markets where it already has a presence," and "will increase the number of stores with the service by a third to about 200 and widen its footprint to 30 cities," says Michael Bender, chief operating officer of Wal-Mart's e-commerce operations.

Bender tells Reuters, "The data we’ve collected gives us confidence that with existing customers we are getting a larger share of their wallet and that's complemented by new customers we are bringing into the fold. There will be more so stay tuned."

The story notes that "by focusing on in-store pickup, Wal-Mart is aiming to capitalize on its network of stores, drawing a sharp contrast with, an online-only retailer which has struggled to find the right pricing model and is delivering groceries in a handful of cities for a fee."
KC's View:
I've been arguing for a long time that Walmart needs to ramp this up wide and fast if it wants to successfully differentiate itself from Amazon, which continues to work these aisles in its own way. I'd suggest that Walmart should be expanding it to 80 new markets, not eight.