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Walmart said yesterday that it is introducing a new late-night delivery option as part of its Online Pickup and Delivery.

Tom Ward, EVP & Chief eCommerce Officer, Walmart U.S., said in a blog posting that "this is about more than just staying up late – it's about building a suite of Pickup and Delivery options that prioritize convenience, speed and putting the customer at the very center … Imagine realizing you're down to the last few diapers, or your child's game controller decides to give up during the final battle. Walmart can save the day with delivery as soon as 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes."

The new offering means that Walmart will provide Express Delivery until 10 p.m., on orders placed by 9:30 p.m.

In his post, Ward also emphasized the Our Live Shopper feature, which "enables real-time text communication with a personal shopper, allowing customers to discuss substitutions or add items last minute. The whole experience feels like you’re texting a friend to grab you something while they’re at the store, helping to further personalize our online shopping service. So, if you suddenly realize you’re out of cold medicine, you can let your shopper know and they can make the add."

KC's View:

We always say here that the goal has to be removing friction - and sometimes friction presents itself in the form of a ticking clock.  This is really smart.

One of the other things we talk about here is that one of the ways to compete with Amazon is to offer products and services that it cannot and does not offer.  Seems to me that this is exactly what Walmart is doing here, in a way that underlines the importance of physical stores in close proximity to where people live.