Walmart to launch delivery service for other businesses
Walmart said Tuesday it will start farming out its delivery service, using contract workers, autonomous vehicles and other means to transport rival retailers’ products directly to their customers’ homes as fast as just a few hours.
The nation’s largest retailer said it will dispatch contract workers from its Spark delivery network, which was launched in 2018, to merchants’ stores to pick up items and then bring them to shoppers. Over the past year, Walmart has doubled Spark’s coverage to more than 500 cities nationwide, providing access to more than 20 million households.
Walmart aims to tap into its ties with local communities, particularly businesses in rural areas that have struggled to provide their own delivery services.
The strategy will pit Walmart against delivery services run by the likes of Uber and DoorDash. And it comes as Walmart moves to expand its sources of profits and revenues beyond its core retail businesses. It echoes Amazon’s diversification move with its Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit, which the online behemoth built for itself and now sells to other businesses.
Walmart said the delivery service, Walmart GoLocal, has already signed a number of deals with national and small-business clients, although it did not name them.