BENTONVILLE, ARK. – This spring Walmart is introducing HomeValet technology to its grocery delivery service with a temperature-controlled smart box that will keep perishable items fresh on customers’ doorsteps.

“As our founder, Sam Walton, once said, ‘To succeed, stay out in front of change.’ It’s why we’re continuously testing new technology, like drones and autonomous vehicles, to find new ways to serve customers,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product for Walmart. “Which made us think – what if we could conveniently deliver fresh groceries to a customer’s front door any time of the day, whether they’re home or not? That’s what we’ll be exploring in our new pilot with HomeValet.”

HomeValet’s smart box is powered by an internet of things (IoT) platform that has three temperature-controlled zones, so it can properly store frozen, refrigerated and pantry items. And when it’s time for a delivery to be made, the smart box communicates with the delivery provider’s device, giving them secure access to the smart box to complete the delivery.

“The prospect of this technology is intriguing, both for customers and for Walmart’s last mile delivery efforts,” Ward said. “For customers, they don’t need to plan their day around when their grocery delivery will be made. For Walmart, it presents an opportunity to deliver items 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While we don’t have plans to do 24/7 delivery today, it certainly has a nice ring to it.”