BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has begun testing an on-line grocery delivery service in the San Jose, Calif., area, according to an article in The New York Times. Called Wal-Mart to Go, the service involves Wal-Mart shipping groceries from a San Jose store, packing them in tote bags and delivering them in temperature-controlled trucks that the company owns.

Groceries currently available through the service are primarily prepackaged goods, including a broad selection of shelf-stable food and drinks, such as crackers, candy, bread and soft drinks. Precut meat and some produce and vegetables also are available.

Wal-Mart to Go prices are considered to be competitive with other on-line grocers, such as Peapod and Fresh Direct. Delivery charges for Wal-Mart to Go start at $5.

In March, Wal-Mart announced the introduction of a nationwide program called “Pick Up Today” that allows customers to submit orders (not food) on-line and pick them up a few hours later in their local store. Wal-Mart has been testing the program since October in about 750 stores.