Walmart tests delivery service, asks employees to deliver packages on way home

Walmart tests delivery service, asks employees to deliver packages on way home

Walmart store employees are now delivering packages to customers' homes.Getty ImagesWalmart is now using store employees to deliver packages to customers' homes in the retailer's latest effort to undercut Amazon.

In a test that launched a month ago in two stores in New Jersey and one in Northwest Arkansas, employees can opt in to deliver packages on their way home for extra pay. Packages are shipped from Walmart's various fulfillment centers to the locations, where workers can volunteer to hand-deliver them by way of an employee app. It also lets customers buy groceries online and pick them up at stores and offers discounts to online shoppers who pick up items at stores rather than having them delivered. The set-up is allowing many orders to be delivered next day, and associates appreciate the opportunity to earn more money, he said. The associate delivery idea also points to Walmart's potentially changed perceptions, with the company now looking to boost sales regardless whether they are in stores or online, instead of simply using its online channel to support its stores.

Around 90 percent of the USA 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. They will be able to use an app to specify how many packages they are open to deliver.

Walmart (wmt) has lined up new soldiers in the delivery wars with Amazon.com (amzn): Its own store workers.

Wal-Mart previously announced plans to offer free two-day shipping on orders of at least $35 earlier this year. Walmart's announcement comes amid the retailer doubling down on online business, where sales grew 63 percent in the first quarter this year.

Wal-Mart has experimented with different options the past few years, according to Sodero.




By comparison, Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) has rolled out same-day delivery services across much of the country. While it's a minuscule part of their overall business, it represents a huge headache-one that will only intensify as the load continues to strain delivery company capacity. "This is just another attempt of Wal-Mart at lowering those costs".

"Unlike crowdsourced delivery, where the driver has to travel (often out of the way) to pick up the package, then drive the full distance to deliver it, our associates are starting at the same place as the packages", he wrote. Those who volunteer for the program must submit to a background check and must have a clean driving record.

Walmart has put a new delivery method which calls for his employees to deliver orders on their way home from work. If not, the package will be left on the doorstep.

In its quest to catch up with Amazon and leverage its big-box real estate, Walmart is testing a host of retail innovations that embrace both high and low technology.

The decision, however, could prove controversial for a company that has been criticized in the past for its labor practices, said Krista Garcia, a retail analyst with eMarketer.

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