03 June, 2017
Walmart is testing a delivery service using its own store employees, who will deliver packages ordered online while driving home from their regular work shifts.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) is testing delivery-by-employees program in a bid to "cut shipping costs and get packages" to customers' doors "faster and more efficiently".
The service now is only available from three store-two in New Jersey and one in northwest Arkansas.
Around 90 percent of the US population reside within 10 miles of a Walmart and the retail giant is probably using these locations as shipping hubs to challenge Amazon's online delivery services. "Now imagine all the routes our associates drive to and from work and the houses they pass along the way".
Employees opting in can choose how many deliveries they want to make, as well as select the size and weight of packages they're willing to deliver. The company noted that many orders are being delivered the next day. The idea is aimed at cutting delivery costs and helping the employees to improve their income. The app can alert an associate when there's an order destined for a location that's on his or her way home. Expect Walmart to expand it rapidly, and other retailers to watch closely and follow suit.
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Lore has been spearheading Walmart's drive to catch up, since the Arkansas-based retailer bought his Jet.com online delivery firm for $3.3bn past year.
Blake Jackson, a Walmart spokesman, said the company's leave policies for hourly workers are significantly better than most of the industry. Lore cited online grocery pickup, two-day free shipping and store pickup discounts as other measures created to upgrade customers' experience in shopping on Walmart.com. Walmart operates 4,962 stores in the US that total 789.6 million square feet. The company says that this surge is not due to acquisitions but it is driven by the changes in the shipping strategy; also the discount offered to shoppers picking up their online orders.
The delivery destinations will be close to where a worker lives or on the way to that person's home. Employees can also be paid overtime to make the deliveries, Walmart spokesperson Ravi Jariwala announced Thursday. "What I'm most proud of is how all areas of Walmart, from e-commerce to store operations to supply chain, came together to innovate rapidly for our customers - and in a way that puts our associates in control".
The move is the latest step in Walmart's campaign to counter Amazon's online dominance.
Walmart.com and Jet.com shoppers in three US cities now have a new delivery person, and it's not employees of one of the major shipping companies like FedEx or UPS or a delivery start-up like Instacart or Deliv.
Earlier this year, it went after Amazon's Prime member customers by lowering the minimum purchase to $25 for two-day free shipping.