There are few words that bring on more emotional baggage for parents than these two: grocery shopping. As a mom of three, I have banned my children from shopping with me because at this point in my parenting career, grocery shopping has become my Shangri La of “me time,” where I can listen to crappy ’90s soft rock in the frozen section while daydreaming about circling back to the bakery aisle to buy that damn whoopie cake that has been whispering to me for the last three aisles. But it appears Walmart wants to take this sacred time away, by tempting me with the latest shopping perk it’s testing: a new kind of home delivery service that lets you order your groceries online — and have someone else put them away for you.
Mmm, hmm, you read that right. As in: A Walmart employee comes to your house and organizes your fridge with all the lovely foods you just purchased. Without you even having to lift a finger.
Imma let that sink in for a second because it sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?
Details of the service, which is still in testing-mode, were shared on the company’s blog Friday by Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s VP of eCommerce Strategy & Business Operations. In it, she explains how it would all go down: “When my order is ready, a Deliv driver will retrieve my items and bring them to my home,” she writes. “If no one answers the doorbell, he or she will have a one-time passcode that I’ve pre-authorized which will open my home’s smart lock.”
Okay, I’ll be honest — it was at this point that my mind pressed pause. First, there’s the obvious trepidation of having a stranger walk through your home when you’re not there. But then there’s this: If a delivery guy came into my house — when I wasn’t home — I’m willing to bet he’d have some serious questions of his own running through his head. Things like, “Did an actual tornado blow through this house?” and “OMG is this the scene of a crime?” Because yes, people — I have three kids and a full-time job and therefore, my house is in a near-constant state of kind of clean, but mostly destroyed.
But I digress. Eddleston continues:
“As the homeowner, I’m in control of the experience the entire time – the moment the Deliv driver rings my doorbell, I receive a smartphone notification that the delivery is occurring and, if I choose, I can watch the delivery take place in real-time. The Deliv associate will drop off my packages in my foyer and then carry my groceries to the kitchen, unload them in my fridge and leave.”
Um, I don’t have a fancy foyer, I have a spot near the door where everyone throws their shoes and we take turns tripping over them and trying not to break our faces or swear out loud. Also, can I just point out that my smartphone routinely screws up basic things like, you know, WORDS? (I’m looking at you auto-correct … I am pretty sure I wasn’t trying to yell “duck” into that text to my husband last Thursday.) But still — the more I read, the more I’m kinda warming to the idea.
Eddleston’s blog ends with some assurance of security and control, though; since I’m sure the folks at Walmart have already thought through all of the same potential pitfalls that I have.
“I’m watching the entire process from start to finish from my home security cameras through the August app,” she continues. “As I watch the Deliv associate exit my front door, I even receive confirmation that my door has automatically been locked.”
Hmm … Okay, well that’s assuming the delivery guy was able to shove the leftovers out of the way in the fridge to make room for the new stuff I ordered — and then managed not to die in the booby trap of laundry and toys spread eagle throughout my house in his way out.
I’m betting that in many neighborhoods, this would be an amazing experience that will save time and money, but in mine? LOL, I worry it would turn into an amazing urban legend about the poor delivery guy who never returned from the land of toddlers and laundry …
Would you give it a try?