Like other major grocers, Walmart has seen a dramatic spike in online orders for grocery pickup during the coronavirus pandemic. Here's what we know:
Curbside pickup is operating for existing orders, but good luck placing a new order. Walmart currently offers only a 48-hour window for scheduling pickups; previously, I could schedule a pickup a week in advance. On March 20, a search of 18 stores in the Austin, Texas, area yielded only one store with available slots for the following morning. But Walmart's servers were so overwhelmed that I couldn't select that slot — even though it showed up as available — and gave up after several tries. Searching Central Texas, I found an open slot at a Walmart in New Braunfels some 60 miles away.
Walmart stores are open for walk-in customers, but hours have been cut back to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. nationwide to allow workers additional time to stock shelves and fill existing orders.
Stores open Tuesdays at 6 a.m. for customers ages 60 or older. Some Walmarts are also limiting the number of shoppers who can be in the store at one time. This is scheduled to last at least until April 28, according to a company news release.
Some grocery items will be limited, including: paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food, according to the company website.