Wal-Mart adds delivery in San Francisco

The world’s largest retailer is coming to San Francisco — although just in the form of delivery trucks.

Wal-Mart has been testing a same-day delivery service in select markets for customers who buy popular items online during the holiday shopping season. The tests started this month in northern Virginia and Philadelphia, and the company plans to test the service in San Francisco and San Jose later in October or in early November.

The move comes as Wal-Mart faces increasing competition from online giants such as Amazon, which is testing same-day delivery service in 10 markets. Wal-Mart is trying to cater to Web-savvy shoppers who are demanding more convenience.

The program builds on a same-day grocery delivery launch in April 2010 in San Jose, followed by a test in San Francisco over the past year.

About 5,000 general merchandise items — including flat-panel TVs, toys and Apple iPads — will be available for same-day shipping. The delivery charge is $10 for an unlimited number of items, with no minimum purchase. For those who live in San Francisco and San Jose, shoppers will be required to have a minimum order of $45.

For the San Francisco and San Jose markets, shoppers have to order by 7 a.m. that day to receive their items. Wal-Mart is using its own delivery trucks in the region.

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