friday, 3 june of 2016

Walmart partners with Uber and Lyft to deliver groceries

Walmart is raising the stakes in grocery delivery, announcing a tie-up with car-hailing services Uber and Lyft to deliver groceries in a pilot scheme based in Denver and Phoenix.

Doug McMillon, the retailer’s chief executive, will announce details of the test service at the company’s annual meeting on Friday. A Walmart employee will pack the grocery items and prepare them for delivery by an Uber or Lyft driver. The service will cost $7-$10 payable to Walmart rather than the delivery companies.

The move comes as competition for last-mile delivery intensifies, with start-ups such as Deliv competing against the likes of Silicon Valley companies Instacart and DoorDash.

According to a Walmart company blog post, the latest move comes after a similar pilot project between its Sam’s Club stores with Deliv in Miami.

Uber has been expanding into on-demand delivery, introducing it into a number of US cities last year after testing it in New York. Earlier this week the company announced a $3.5bn investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund partly to further expand the range of its services.

Walmart has committed $2bn in a drive to catch up with Amazon, the ecommerce group that has invested heavily in logistics technology. Amazon launched Prime Now more than a year ago in a number of cities, offering members of its annual subscription scheme two-hour delivery on a range of items.

Walmart’s pilot programmes include drones for delivery and for use in warehouses and an annual membership service to compete with Amazon Prime.

The company has also spent $2.7bn to increase staff wages and improve customer service, while also revamping stores and creating an integrated physical and digital offering.

Its most recent quarter suggested that these investments were starting to pay off on top line sales, a relief for investors who had seen a string of disappointing earnings from US retailers.

However, some continue to raise concerns about low wages and understaffing.

Make Change At Walmart, a campaign representing some existing and former Walmart employees, union members and small business owners, said on Friday: “Many Walmart workers are still struggling with poverty wages, erratic schedules, and understaffing at their stores, and many customers don’t want to shop at a store that treats workers so poorly.”

(Published by Financial Times - June 3, 2016)

latest top stories

subscribe |  contact us |  sponsors |  migalhas in portuguese |  migalhas latinoamérica