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Walmart Wants To Deliver Groceries Straight To Your Fridge (consumerist.com) 179

New submitter Rick Schumann writes: Walmart has a new marketing idea: "Going to the store? No one has time for that anymore," Walmart says. They want to partner with a company called August Home, who makes smart locks, so a delivery service can literally deliver groceries right into your refrigerator -- while you watch remotely on your phone. Great, time-saving idea, or super-creepy invasion of your privacy? You decide. Here's how the company says it would work:
1. Place an order on Walmart.com for groceries or other goods.
2. A driver for Deliv -- a same-day delivery service -- retrieves items when the order is ready, and brings them to the customer's home.
3. If no one answers, the delivery person can use a one-time passcode that's been pre-authorized by the customer to open the home's smart lock.
4. The customer receives a smartphone notification when the delivery is occurring, and can choose to watch it all play out in real-time on home security cameras through a dedicated app.
5. Delivery person leaves packages in the foyer, then brings the groceries to the kitchen, unloads them into the fridge, and leaves.
6. Customer receives notification that the door has locked behind them.
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Walmart Wants To Deliver Groceries Straight To Your Fridge

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  • This seems to be a common failure in internet business when they get into grocery.

    Same day delivery, across wide geographic area. specialized technology, higher staff amount, and trying to keep it affordable.
    Food is a necessary thing, and it is something we don't want to kill our budget on. So we are more than willing to go out of the way to buy food at the store, especially if it will save us some money.

    • We participated in a test market of this concept in 2003. Place order online, food arrives direct from the distribution center in refrigerated truck next day - friendly service man puts on paper booties so as not to mark up your floor and delivers the groceries straight into your kitchen - letting themselves in is a new twist, but otherwise the same concept.

      It could work, I feel like the grocery chain we trialed with aborted the program because it would have lessened their brick and mortar presence in the

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        British supermarkets do this all the time. You can order home deliveries of fresh, frozen and chilled items. Companies like Tescos, Sainsburys and Waitrose all offer the home delivery or pick up and collect. The trick is that you normally have to book before 11.45pm, but you can get delivery starting at 7am. Smart people make a booking with a few basic items, then come back and make the full order. They can do kitchen deliveries, but some people just prefer front door delivery.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Used to be common here in North America right up until the 1970's too, every grocer and grocery store did it until they started competing against each other for more profit. Though it's starting to make a comeback, mainly in retirement communities. It was common here in Canada to have a milkbox on your house for food or small grocery deliveries right until 1979 and was considered a feature of the house.

          • We still have a milkman who delivers dairy products to our door once a week.

            • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

              We still have a milkman who delivers dairy products to our door once a week.

              There's a few people in the area that do this for the dairy's as a small business. You can even get them in glass bottles if you want. The price difference really isn't huge between picking up a gallon at the store or have it delivered either.

              The other upside since dairy is a huge industry here is you can get raw milk(unpasteurized) which is nice. I mainly use it for cooking or making my own cheese, it's also a nice reminder of my childhood since that's what I grew up on. There is a taste difference, bu

          • by mikael ( 484 )

            It was the same in the UK before the wars. The village shops (butchers, fishmonger, bakery) would all have their delivery boys/girls who would use a bicycle with basket to deliver items. In the cities, the lady of the house would make her weekly order and items would be delivered by van. Department stores had their catalogs and items would be delivered overnight from the warehouses in London, by overnight train and delivered next day.

            • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

              And for a lot of kids their first jobs too, there's a few towns in Canada that do something similar but "health regulations" make it far more difficult then anything else to get it off the ground. So it really only happens where there's a density and need. Almonte, Ontario and Ingersoll, Ontario both have these services.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 22, 2017 @06:53PM (#55247699)

    Delivery driver, making minimum wage and being treated like shit by Wal-mart, then tells his friends about the shit he saw in your house and 3 months later you get robbed. No thank you. What the fuck are these companies thinking and how fucking lazy are people? I'd only allow this if I was rich as fuck and had hired help to do this. Which at that point, they would be my employee, well compensated and not some untrustworthy Wal-mart meth head employee. But then the rich have been doing this for centuries already.

    Smart locks are exactly the opposite too. If it's connected to the internet, it's hackable. End of story. Not to mention, a simple kick and the door opens anyway.

    • For an additional $5, after putting the groceries away, the driver will make himself a sandwich and a drink then wash the dishes.

    • Smart locks are exactly the opposite too. If it's connected to the internet, it's hackable. End of story. Not to mention, a simple kick and the door opens anyway.

      So you have no problem with smart locks then. I mean who would hack a lock when they could just push through it?

  • What about ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @06:53PM (#55247701)

    What about pets? Will they make sure to keep the door closed so the cat or dog doesn't bolt? Will they refuse to enter the house if there are pets?

    What about grabbing something small in the fridge or elsewhere in the house? Does everyone have 360 degree surveillance in every room of their house now?

    What about disputing the purchase if you don't get the things you bought? Something missing, wrong items etc.?

    What about delivery guys taking pictures with their phones while they're in your house to, off the top of my head, either shame you on the net for old appliances, dirty dishes in the sink etc., or maybe to plan a future burglary now that they have ACCESS TO YOUR HOUSE to look around?

    What about just doing your grocery shopping yourself? Is the world really so stressed now we can't do that?

    • Re:What about ... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by The Good Reverend ( 84440 ) <(michael) (at) (michris.com)> on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:15PM (#55247759) Journal

      Most of these issues aren't unique to grocery delivery - many people use maids/cleaning services, so I'm sure there are standards in place that many people are comfortable with.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        maids and cleaning services tend to have staff security checked and a consistent set of workers. Your average Walmart will churn through employees on a weekly basis and I seriously doubt they will do any real security checks on delivery boys/girls.
        • maids and cleaning services tend to have staff security checked and a consistent set of workers.

          In the end that is probably the make or break point for this sort of service as well.

        • maids and cleaning services tend to have staff security checked and a consistent set of workers.

          You should use "and/or" here. A lot of people hire maids on Craigslist and pay cash; I've done this in the past. But the key word here is "consistent": when you hire some individual who works for themselves, you're going to get that same person every week, not some new random person you've never met. You'll probably meet that person several times, and get to know them a bit at least. It's not like a delivery

      • I have a housekeeper who comes twice a month. She has two methods of dealing with dogs:
        1. A bag of treats
        2. Pepper spray

        With my dog, the first method worked with immediate effect.

    • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:46PM (#55247879) Journal
      What about the fact that all this is unnecessary if you put a secured, padlocked cool box (possibly even one with active cooling) outside your door and let them put the groceries in that? It's probably a lot cheaper than installing a smart lock plus video surveillance throughout your house and has no security implications. It might not keep them cool all day in the summer but if you arrange delivery for a 3-hour window before you return home it should do fine. Milk used to be delivered door-to-door in the UK and it was fine for an hour or so with zero refrigeration or insulation.

      Of course this solution does not involve high tech locks, flying drones, autonomous delivery trucks or robots so it's clearly less amazon-y but who knows, perhaps it might work?
    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "Does everyone have 360 degree surveillance in every room of their house now?"

      As quickly as you idiots are allowing the rest of the population to willingly surrender their rights with camera in everything and everywhere by doing nothing to educate the populace.....

    • What about just doing your grocery shopping yourself?

      That still requires other people to grow the food, package it, and put it on the shelf for you. In principle, these are no different from delivery, and you only think they are because you are used to them being done for you.

      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        Hey, I don't mind delivery to my door if that's an option - but there's no way I'm ever allowing strangers to just walk into my house without my being present.

        There's no way my dog's allowing it, either.

    • Forget all that:

      How the hell will the delivery guy fit food into my fridge? I can barely fit stuff in there and it usually requires a clean-out first before I can tetris the new stuff into the machine.

  • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @06:54PM (#55247709) Homepage Journal
    Wow, I would never let an unknown person have unsupervised access to my home. Especially someone employed by Walmart.

    Aside from all the new security issues that are opened up by generating one time access to a digital lock, doesn't this raise all sorts of red flags for people?

    What happens when law enforcement decides that they want to sneak in an poke around? We going to have another of situations where they can make it fly just because the Supreme Court hasn't gotten around to pointing out that it isn't legal just because it is novel, like we have with feds intercepting internet and phone data?
  • I would love a service like this... except my great danes would eat the driver as he enters the house. I would need to figure out some compensating controls / mitigation to allow driver thru my house and into the kitchen area safely. I already have camera's all over my house and everything important is behind additional locked doors / cabinets. It's just one more than I don't have to worry about... why not?

  • Is there a notification when the delivery driver is stealing your stuff?
  • If we are getting food in highly secured containers shipped straight to your home can we get a locking refrigerator like in the movie Conspiracy Theory? Because I'd probably into that.
  • ...something like Costco. I remember Amazon Fresh in LA and all their dry-ice totes and such. They can't compete with something like Costco doing that. They need a warehouse with freezers for perishables etc. just like Costco. But unlike Costco, Amazon then pays to have delivery fleet take inventory from warehouse to customer. Costco, on the other hand, has the customer PAYING A YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION to wander into the warehouse and do the delivery part for Costco on their own dime and time. Going to take
  • Walmart Wants To Invade Your Home -- To Deliver Groceries

    As some others have already commented: Walmart is the LAST place anyone I know would buy groceries.. what's to keep the driver from casing your house while you're not home.. and so on. Utterly clueless idea from Walmart.

    Also, how many of you only go to one store for all your food shopping? I sure don't, and I don't know anyone who does, either.

    • Walmart has pretty cheap groceries. You're not going to find fine cheeses or Prime meat, but if you just need staples... the produce is limited in variety, but generally inexpensive and of good quality. You find yourself in Podunk, USA, and want some Sriracha? Walmart has it. Want to buy everything in one trip? Walmart sells it.

      As for shopping at one store, I generally do 90% of my shopping at a very generic grocery store. Every once in a while, I need a specialty ingredient, or higher quality meat, or wh
      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        "Walmart has pretty cheap groceries"

        Son, you don't know a fucking thing if you think WalMart has cheap groceries.

        Lemme tell you about Maxi Foods, where you can get 6 pounds of onions for $0.99. Asparagus is $1.99 a pound. A 10 pound sack of potatoes is barely a buck.

        If you think WalMart has cheap groceries, you're the kind of person Whole Foods would love.

        • And the grand national footprint of Maxi Foods is... what? If I can get really cheap food by making a 2500-mile commute to the store, well, it's not so cheap anymore, is it? You can get avocados off the farm for 10 cents apiece in the right parts of California, but that isn't much help to someone who lives east of the Mississippi. Walmart is cheaper than the local stores, cheaper than the available major chains, and much cheaper than the farmers' markets. You can get much cheaper rice, and Sriracha by the f
        • As I said above: Winco. Or stores like it. Winco is nation-wide, too. There are THREE of them within 20 miles of me. You, friend, have it figured out, though.
    • Also, how many of you only go to one store for all your food shopping? I sure don't, and I don't know anyone who does, either.

      I shop exclusively at my local QFC, as it pretty much has everything I need. Do you shop at multiple stores for price or selection? I can't think of what I'd need that isn't available at that one store, and there's no way I could save enough to justify the extra 30-60 minutes per trip it would take to visit the second-nearest grocery store.

      • Most common things from Winco, because they are always cheapest. Most fresh produce and red meat from a more expensive store, for better quality. A few specialty items from Whole Foods, because they're who carries them. I'd go broke or go without buying everything from one store only.
  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:07PM (#55247743)

    What I do when shopping for food is a) I decide on what I want to cook and eat. This is based on what is fresh, looks good, is in season and generally appeals to me. And b) it is low-stress time that I take off from all other things and concerns. The last thing I want is for this to be taken away and automatized. May as well automatize away going for a walk. This is seriously messed up.

    • I'm with you on that, except when you consider this is Walmart. Shopping at Walmart is a stressful draining experience, and their food often doesn't taste quite right anyway so why bother trying.

    • You might consider, perhaps, that not everyone is like you. In my house, grocery shopping is done with a pre-compiled list which everyone in the house adds to, and shopping is a chore. Assuming it was cost-effective and I was convinced that it was safe, I'd love this service. They wouldn't need a smart lock on my house since we basically never lock the doors anyway. Also, I wouldn't need to watch them on my phone because I work from home and my office window looks out on the front driveway, so unless I were
      • While our shopping model is closer to yours (a centrally-managed list everyone can add to, and we plan shopping around the meals we want to make) ... I'm more like gweihir in terms of attitude.

        A few years ago, I started taking on most of the grocery shopping when my wife started having some nagging health issues. I've found that I actually enjoy it - it's like a little private time where I can think my own thoughts. It's like going for a walk, but in a grocery store.

        Note that I tend to do most of my shoppin

  • To use this system I have to setup an elaborate camera and door lock system just so I don't have to rub elbows with the proletariat at the grocery store.
  • Here's how the company says it would work:
    1. Place an order on Walmart.com for groceries or other goods.
    2. A driver for Deliv -- a same-day delivery service -- retrieves items when the order is ready, and brings them to the customer's home.
    3. If no one answers, the delivery person can use a one-time passcode that's been pre-authorized by the customer to open the home's smart lock.
    4. The customer receives a smartphone notification when the delivery is occurring, and can choose to watch it all play out
  • My company is going to deliver the food directly to your mouth.
    • The US Military has already gotten that beat, too. With rectal feeding (google it), they put food directly into your ass! So you don't even have to put up with the hassle of chewing and swallowing - even more convenient than what those soylent people are doing.

  • National grocery delivery is available from several supermarket chains to most of the population (admittedly, the distances between customers in the USA makes this impractical in more rural areas, where it is not in the UK)

    The driver from several of these services will drop the groceries off in your kitchen.
    You do however have to be there.
    I have had no problems with quality in >100 orders.
  • by CQDX ( 2720013 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:27PM (#55247801)

    No way ever will I do this.

  • I'm old enough to remember when the milkman delivered milk and eggs to a silver box next to the door step. If the milkman was inside in the kitchen, he was banging the lady of the house and not the fridge door.
    • by cstacy ( 534252 )

      I'm old enough to remember when the milkman delivered milk and eggs to a silver box next to the door step. If the milkman was inside in the kitchen, he was banging the lady of the house and not the fridge door.

      Some say milkman's come back...

  • 3. If no one answers, the delivery person can use a one-time passcode that's been pre-authorized by the customer to open the home's smart lock.
    4. The customer receives a smartphone notification when the delivery is occurring, and can choose to watch it all play out in real-time on home security cameras through a dedicated app.
    5. Delivery person leaves packages in the foyer, then brings the groceries to the kitchen, unloads them into the fridge, and leaves.

    Oh HELL no. Not a fucking chance, no no no.

    If YOU wa

  • I need Walmart to deliver groceries straight into my belly.

  • I seem to remember that someone used to make fridges that had a back door that went against a cutout in your outside wall so the milk man can put your milk in your fridge without entering your house. Also, some houses had little (12" x 12") double doors in the wall that the milkman could put our milk into and you could take it out from inside the house. We are talking decades ago when there were such a ting as milkmen rattling down your street at 5AM delivering milk. At they used wireless communication -
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Yah. And the key point is that even then, when people were more trustworthy (in general), he didn't have access to the inside of the house.

      P.S.: The reason that people were more trustworthy is that people grew up in small towns where everyone knew everyone else, and transportation was slow. In fact SLOW. So if something bad happened the pool of suspects was small. (You may recall that people who grew up in such environments traditionally distrusted strangers. This was reasonable. Some people lived in

  • 1. That's creepy.
    2. Is Walmart willing to take on the liability for theft?
    3. Dogs.
    4. Dogs.
    5. Dogs.

  • ... my local H-E-B and Kroger stores are providing curbside pickup.

    You go online and pick your items. They gather those up and store (see what I did there) them on shelves and in refrigerators in an add-on room and then park in a special spot so a handler can put them in your vehicle.

    When Amazon buys its own delivery fleet ... it's game over.

  • My family used a service like this, called Streamline, for years in the 2000's before they went bust. Streamline installed a garage door keypad opener and even provided a refrigerator in your garage. This gave them access to whatever was in your garage, sure; we never had a single issue. When they went bust they even let us keep the full size refrigerator!
  • I live in an older home built in the 1950s. It has a box on the side of the attached garage that can be opened from the outside or the inside; it was designed for the milkman delivery. If homes could be designed with a larger compartment, enough to contain a refrigerator, then this could work fine.
    • I think this is mostly a Catch 22, it's not worth putting up a delivery box until most services work with it and it's not worth offering until most houses have one. Refrigerated/unrefrigerated, electronic lock, tiny surveillance camera on the outside triggered when door is open, local+smartphone notification, but the service would also have to know to use it, accept that as an alternative to signed delivery. The handover point would be the closed door, which should solve the problem of the door left open. T

  • No. Way too many potential problems. No.

  • Of course, I suppose they could just skyrocket your premiums, and increase your deductible, but otherwise I could all but guarantee that there is no way you'd ever see a single penny a theft claim if you were to come home and find your place had been robbed while also being a subscriber of this kind of service.
  • Walmart wants to deliver groceries straight to your fridge.

    Well, fuck that. I mean, how fucking lazy can you be?

    I'll wait until Walmart wants to deliver groceries straight to my mouth.

  • With concerns over finding healthy meals to make as opposed to instant meals, I always find the 'chore' in grocery shopping is figuring out what to buy and how much of it. Once you figure out what to buy, going and getting it is almost like a vacation away from home. So I don't really understand services like this.
  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @09:16PM (#55248289)

    Let me get this straight:

    You want me to let Walmart employees ( who are among the lowest paid workers there are ) into my home which is full of things that might be of financial interest to such a person ? Are you insane ? Even WITH live camera surveillance, not a fucking chance.

    This is a burglars wet dream. Get inside, take a peek to see if anything is worth the trouble and come back later ( or get your buddies to do it for alibi reasons ).

    As for the " smart lock ", more nope on that. If you haven't learned anything else, you need to learn that if it's internet connected, it's a security issue waiting to happen.

  • When I was a boy we had a guy called a milkman that came a few times a week to deliver dairy. I remember friends had a guy that I think delivered fritos/pretzels etc. If I remember right I think bread got delivered too. But all that changed when these new fangled supermarkets became a thing because they were cheaper. Exactly how Walmart (king of cheap) plans to implement door to door delivery at a reasonable price baffles me. Either the food is literally going to be garbage, like the produce no one else wan

  • I think how this is really going to work out will be some standard where your self piloted car will interact with robots at the store to pick up your order, drive back home, and then notify you when it arrives.

    Anything more than what we have now with humans isn't worth the effort.

  • On the upside, Walmart employees will now be able to make a substantial secondary income by ratting you out to the police.

    https://yro.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

  • This is an old story; it's been in the news for months that Walmart and others will be using "drones" for these kinds of home deliveries.
  • If people start doing this, that will increase the soft targets for burglars, and reduce the odds of them trying harder targets like my house.

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