Walmart Makes New Acquisition To Shorten Delivery Times

Posted October 05, 2017

Jet.com, an ecommerce arm of Walmart, has been testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to NY customers, for instance.

United States supermarket giant Walmart's Jet.com site is to launch its own grocery brand in a move that is being interpreted as an attempt to help it compete with the Amazon-owned Whole Foods 365 offering.

Walmart has purchased Parcel, a delivery logistics startup that focuses on overnight and same-day last-mile delivery, Reuters reports. Notably, Parcel has delivered more than 1 million meals in the past two years and has customers ranging from grocery stores, meal kits, and e-commerce companies. "Whatever they need and however they'd like it, we aim to provide - including the ability to offer last-minute ordering with same-day delivery service", Nate Faust, senior vice president of Walmart's USA e-commerce supply chain, said in a Q&A on Walmart's website.

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The extreme density of the New York City area makes it a complicated market for delivery.

Walmart has played with a few ideas when it comes to providing cost-effective ways to provide fast delivery.

The acquisition of Parcel signals a desire to boost that practice so that Walmart can better compete with other same-day delivery services, like Amazon's Prime Now. Walmart will now be able to tap into Parcel'shomegrownn familiarity with the market.

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Jet already delivers some orders for no extra fee on the same day they are ordered, and Walmart believes Parcel will help it reduce the operating costs associated with those deliveries.

Parcel allows customers to schedule deliveries for when they will be home amd receive text messages with updates on when their order will arrive. Recently, the retailer began testing "in-fridge delivery", a service that stocks a customer's refrigerator while he or she is away from home. Earlier this year, Jet announced a partnership with Latch, another New York-based startup that offers keyless entry for delivery personnel to leave packages inside a doorman-less apartment building.

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