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Walmart Inc (NYSE: Chart WMT - $141.71 1.91 (1.33%) ) is launching a new delivery service business, Walmart GoLocal, which enables other merchants to tap into the retail giant’s delivery platform to get orders to their customers.
In a press release Tuesday, Walmart said the B2B offering provides small and large retailers alike a new option for last-mile delivery — the final leg of an online order’s route to a customer’s doorstep — and will be ready in time for the busy holiday shopping season.
During a call with reporters, Tom Ward, senior vice president at Walmart, said the company’s vast footprint and logistics expertise will be especially beneficial in suburban and rural areas that are underserved by parcel carriers and other platforms.
Walmart GoLocal will utilize the independent contract drivers on its in-house Spark delivery platform to pick up items from merchants’ stores.
Launched in 2018, Spark covers more than 500 cities across the country and provides access to 20 million households — about 70% of the US population, Walmart said.
Details on the white-label delivery service are limited, but Walmart said it will be “competitively priced” and that it has “already established a number of contractual agreements with national and enterprise retail clients.”
According to Walmart, the service will offer delivery within two hours in certain markets as well as a lower-priced two-day delivery option.
In a statement, Ward said, “We’ve worked hard to develop a reliable last mile delivery program for our customers. Now, we’re pleased to be able to use these capabilities to serve another set of customers, local merchants.”
“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 so they can focus on doing what they do best, leaving delivery speed and efficiency to us.”
Over the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased shoppers’ demand for speedier deliveries, putting more stress on smaller retailers that may not be able to meet those expectations.
Walmart’s president and chief executive officer, John Furner, also touted the company’s commerce capabilities and said it looks forward “to helping other businesses have access to the same reliable, quality and low-cost services.”
"In an era where customers have come to expect speed and reliability, it's more important than ever for businesses to work with a service provider that understands a merchant's needs," Furner said.
Besides helping Walmart diversify revenue streams, the venture is another way for the retailer to try to edge out rival Amazon.com Inc, which has largely moved its delivery network in-house and promised same-day or next-day delivery in many markets, The Associated Press noted.
Source: Equities News