Walmart is opening up its delivery service to other businesses, enabling retailers to tap its network of contract workers, delivery vehicles, drones and autonomous vehicles to deliver products to their customers’ homes. The move pits Walmart against on-demand delivery services such as Uber and DoorDash.
The company first launched its delivery and Express delivery service three years ago, allowing shoppers to order delivery of over 16,000 items from more than 3,000 stores. The service today has a reach of 70 percent of the U.S. population.
The “GoLocal” service has already signed a number of contractual agreements with both national and small business clients and is set to become operational within a few months. In addition, the company plans to leverage its existing ties with local communities, especially those in rural areas, to grow its delivery business as these businesses often lack the means to offer their own delivery services, Associated Press reported.
Fees for accessing Walmart’s delivery service will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis and delivery speed can vary between two hours to up to two days.
In July, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer also began offering small- to medium-size businesses access to its buy online and pick-up in-store technology. The business model is similar to Amazon’s AWS offering, which was first developed for the eCommerce giant’s own use.
“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,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart’s U.S. division.