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. The service, called Wal-Mart to Go, includes 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.

According to The New York Times article, the groceries currently available through the service mostly are 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.

The prices at Wal-Mart to Go are considered to be competitive with other on-line grocers such as Peapod and Fresh Direct. For example, a 64-oz carton of Horizon milk was $3.50 on Wal-Mart’s site, $3.99 from Peapod and $4.29 on Fresh Direct, while a 16-oz package of celery at Wal-Mart to Go was $1.98, where 16-oz of celery at Peapod was $3.29 and at Fresh Direct $3.49, according to The New York Times.

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.