• Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Walmart trials grocery delivery to rival Amazon Flex

  • Published at 01:14 am September 6th, 2018
File photo: A sign of Walmart is pictured at one of their stores in Monterrey, Mexico, August 8 REUTERS

The pilot program called Spark Delivery is similar to Amazon Flex, a service from rival Amazon.com Inc where a fleet of drivers use their own cars to make fast deliveries

Walmart Inc is testing whether independent drivers could deliver its groceries as the retailer races to meet its goal of offering home delivery to more than 100 US cities by the end of the year. 

The pilot program called Spark Delivery is similar to Amazon Flex, a service from rival Amazon.com Inc where a fleet of drivers use their own cars to make fast deliveries.

Walmart’s Spark Delivery is a crowdsourced platform, which works with independent drivers who partner with Delivery Drivers Inc, a separate firm that manages such workers. 

The initiative is Walmart’s latest attempt to tackle one of the biggest challenges in retail: the so-called “last mile” of delivering goods to online customers. Despite having 4,700 US stores within 10 miles (16 km) of 90% of the US population, the Bentonville, Arkansas based retailer is still trying to figure out how to efficiently make deliveries and has poured billions of dollars into e-commerce in recent years.

Walmart is the largest US seller of groceries and its aggressive expansion into home delivery follows Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods in 2017, which spurred several traditional retailers to push such services fearing increased competition in the sector.

Walmart has so far had mixed success with its various delivery initiatives. Reuters was first to report the end of Walmart’s delivery partnerships with Uber and Lyft and how in a separate trial the retailer struggled to get its own employees to deliver groceries to customers’ homes after completing their usual shifts of up to nine hours.

In March, Walmart said it will offer home delivery of groceries to 100 US cities covering 40 percent of US households by the end of 2018 and has since tied up with several small delivery companies like Doordash and Postmates, who offer gig-style jobs to workers, to meet its goal.

As of Wednesday, Walmart said its grocery home delivery service is available in nearly 50 markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Miami and Seattle.

The company said its work with third-party delivery providers will continue to be a leading part of its delivery strategy even as it runs this pilot.

“Spark Delivery is one way we’re exploring how to get quality groceries from our door to our customers’ doors,” Walmart’s US CEO Greg Foran said in a statement.

Spark uses Walmart’s in-house platform to allow drivers to sign up for time slots that work best with their schedules and offers navigation assistance among other services. 

Walmart said its partner Delivery Drivers will handle recruiting, screening, background checks, payment and accounting, among other services for drivers.

A Walmart spokeswoman told Reuters, drivers will earn a fee on each delivery along with the gratuity they receive from customers. Dependent upon the number of orders delivered, driver’s pay can exceed $20 an hour, she said.

Rival Amazon Flex pays independent drivers $18 to $25 an hour for deliveries, and the fuel costs are borne by the driver, according to the Amazon Flex website.

Spark Delivery is currently being tested in Nashville and New Orleans with plans to roll out to a few more metro areas this year, Walmart said without offering more details.  

Facebook 82
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail