Walmart Grocery Pickup: What Happens if Late?

Here’s what to expect if you’re late for a Walmart grocery pickup order:

In general, you have a grace period of one hour after your scheduled pickup time to get your grocery order.

If you are late beyond that grace period, it depends entirely on the situation.

Sometimes you can get your items later, and sometimes Walmart will cancel your order automatically, with or without a refund.

So if you want to learn all about what you can expect and do if you’re late for a Walmart grocery pickup, then you’re definitely in the right place.

Let’s get started!

Walmart Grocery Pickup: What Happens if Late? (All the Info)

What Does Walmart Do When You Are Late for Grocery Pickup? (2 Sources of Information)

woman at parking lot after shopping

Basically, there are three possible outcomes in this scenario.

The first is that you show up late and still get your items.

You prepaid for the order, so it’s just a matter of getting the stuff.

It’s a pretty easy situation.

The second possibility is that Walmart restocks your items and cancels the order.

If you were in communication with them about doing so, then there’s probably a refund for you.

So, you don’t get your items, but you get your money back.

The third outcome is that Walmart closes your order.

The items are restocked, and you are not refunded.

That’s a more likely outcome when there was no communication between you and Walmart.

So, what is the timing?

How long do you have before the order is canceled?

Well, Walmart isn’t really forthcoming with this information.

So, I’ll take you through Walmart’s policy and what some other people think about things.

#1 Walmart Policy

Woman shopping food online

I took a deep dive into Walmart’s many policy pages, and I scoured them all for what you can expect from Walmart when you’re late for a grocery pickup.

Here’s some fun news.

There’s no formal answer.

Walmart is not committing to anything.

The policy doesn’t outline how long the store will hold your items if you are late.

It doesn’t say what happens if you never show up.

It does say that if Walmart is late you can contact them, but that’s about it.

In everything I read, there was one formal claim, so here it is.

If you log into your account before making an online order with Walmart, then your pickup time will be held for as long as an hour.

That means you can be up to an hour late, and the items will still be ready for you.

Beyond that, there are no promises that I can make on Walmart’s behalf.

#2 Third-Party Claims

empty supermarket shopping cart in a grocery store

Now, when you Google this question, you’re going to see a lot of answers pop up.

A lot of third parties have jumped into the fray to provide their own takes on Walmart’s policy.

Something I saw on numerous sites is that Walmart will hold your items for seven days after your delivery time.

So, you can go to Walmart at any time within that window and still get your items.

Yet, when I talked to Walmart about this, they did not confirm any such policy.

It is entirely possible that people have been days late to a pickup and still get their items.

But, and this is the big thing, there are no guarantees.

If you’re days late, there’s every chance that your items are no longer available.

I’ll talk about what this means in different scenarios below, but I wanted to take a minute to address these third-party answers.

There are no promises beyond that first guaranteed hour.

What Can You Do and Expect if You’re Late for a Walmart Grocery Pickup? (3 Options)

pensive woman outdoor checking out time on watch while on the phone

So, what if you’re more than an hour late?

What happens to your items?

That is going to depend on the scenario at hand, and there are not a lot of general rules to follow.

If you’re only two hours late to your pickup, for instance, then there’s a good chance that your items are still available.

Just let Walmart know that you’re on the way (using the app or website), and there’s a good chance that you can get your items.

But, as I keep saying, this is not a guaranteed outcome.

It’s also possible that your items were restocked and sold, so the store might not have them.

It all depends.

Here’s the one thing you can assume.

Walmart would rather complete your transaction and get your money than not.

So, as long as you’re not so late that it’s causing the store problems, they’re going to try to fulfill the order.

With all of that said, below are a few things you can try or think about when you’re going to be more than an hour late.

#1 Change Order Details

Young woman with serious expression using smartphone at street

This is really the easiest thing.

If you get a notice that your order is ready, and you know you can’t be there in time, contact Walmart.

There’s a button right on the app.

Or, you can call the store.

Do whatever is easiest for you.

When you contact Walmart, you’ll have options to change the order, including the pickup time.

You can even change it to another day if you want. 

If you take advantage of this, then you can reschedule your pickup, and you’ll still have that guaranteed hour window for the new time.

You avoid a lot of problems.

Everybody wins.

It’s probably the best solution.

#2 Cancel

woman using phone sitting on a sofa at home

In other cases, it might make more sense to cancel the order.

You can do that too.

You won’t get your items, but you will get a refund, so it’s still a reasonable solution.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind, though.

If you don’t cancel the order before Walmart does (more on that in the next section), then you might not get a refund after all.

So, if you make an order for pickup today, and then you try to cancel the order next Thursday, you’re probably too late.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you a guaranteed time window for when you can cancel the order.

It boils down to when Walmart gets around to closing the order without you, so the sooner you do it, the better.

In general, though, you usually have until the end of the business day your order was scheduled for pickup to make the cancellation.

Beyond that, there are plenty of times when people can still cancel the order, but it depends on what the store does to process your order. 

#3 Nothing if You Didn’t Show Up nor Call

shopping cart full of groceries in supermarket aisle

We’ve covered most scenarios, but what happens if you just never show up at Walmart?

You placed the order.

You paid for the stuff.

You got the message to come to pick it up, and then for whatever reason, you didn’t go.

Eventually, Walmart is going to close your order.

They’re not going to hold the items forever, and as I keep saying, it’s really a case-by-case thing for how long it takes Walmart to close the order.

Regardless of the timing, when Walmart does this, you do not typically get an automatic refund.

Technically, people at Walmart have the ability to refund your unfulfilled order, but it’s not policy for them to do it automatically.

So, the safe assumption is that Walmart is going to keep your money, close the order, and sell the items they pulled for you to someone else.

You just plain lose.

That brings us back to the advice in the previous sections.

If you communicate with Walmart, you can avoid this outcome and either get a refund or get your items at another time.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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