Walmart will deliver packages for other companies across the US in a bid to compete with Amazon, which also operates a so-called “last mile” service.
In the new offering, called Walmart GoLocal, employees of the company’s Spark delivery network will pick up items from local stores and deliver them to shoppers’ doorsteps the same day.
The move comes as Walmart seeks to compete with Amazon — which runs a “last mile” service called Flex — and as traditional shippers like the US Postal Service, FedEx and UPS struggle to keep up with delivery demand, which has surged over the past year and a half as the coronavirus pandemic has pushed more shoppers online.
“Be it delivering goods from a local bakery to auto supplies from a national retailer, we’ve designed Walmart GoLocal to be customizable for merchants of all sizes and categories,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of Walmart’s US last mile business.
Walmart declined to give specifics about the program’s fee structure, but said it would be “competitively priced.”
Walmart’s Spark service currently covers more than 500 cities, Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said last week on an earnings call. It was not immediately clear if the GoLocal services will be available in every city that currently has Spark.
The company — which recently offered warehouse workers $1,000 bonuses to skip their summer breaks amid a surge in delivery demand — is also looking into drones and autonomous vehicles to help build its delivery network.
The pandemic-era strain on delivery networks is expected to further increase this holiday season, observers say.
During this year’s peak holiday season, delivery demand will exceed delivery providers’ capacity by a whopping 5 million packages per day, UPS Chief Executive Officer Carol Tomé told analysts in July.
UPS also recently said it was also exploring super-fast local delivery options like those offered by Amazon and Walmart.
With Post wires
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