Amazon is making bricks-and-mortar stores increasingly irrelevant in some markets by offering same-day delivery. So what’s a company like Walmart to do but try to beat Amazon at its own game.
Walmart announced today that it has acquired Parcel, a New York-based same-day delivery operation. The goal is to meet online shoppers’ demand for speed and flexibility.
The big box store says that with the purchase it will be able to continue testing fast delivery options, while also lowering its operating costs.
Parcel — which currently has partnerships to deliver for meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies — offers deliveries 24 hours a day, seven days a week in New York City. The company receives packages at its Brooklyn warehouse and customers can choose from same-day, overnight, or a scheduled two-hour window delivery.
For now, Parcel will continue to serve its current customers, but will eventually be used in Walmart’s recent test of same-day delivery of Jet.com purchases in New York City.
“We can build upon that and plan to leverage Parcel for last-mile delivery to customers in New York City – including same-day delivery – for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet,” Nate Faust, senior vice president at Walmart, said in a statement.
Another Delivery Option
Walmart’s decision to wade further into the same-day delivery market comes as the company tries not only to provide customers with what they want — fast deliveries — but to compete with Amazon.
To that end, Walmart has tested or launched a plethora of delivery options for customers in recent months.
In September, the company said it wanted to deliver and put away groceries even when customers weren’t home. The retailer teamed up with August Home — a smart-lock and smart-home accessories company — to offer customers in Silicon Valley the option of having someone do their grocery shopping, deliver the products to their home, and then put them away — all while the customer isn’t home.
Over the summer, the company said it would test a system that allowed employees to deliver packages to customers’ homes on their way out for the night.
In January, Walmart ditched its $50/year ShippingPass program that was intended to compete directly with Amazon Prime in favor of offering free two-day shipping on millions of products with a lower minimum purchase price.