Wal-Mart to test ride-hailing companies for delivery

03 Jun 2016

Wal-Mart to test ride-hailing companies for delivery

Wal-Mart has announced that it will be testing its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft in Denver and Phoenix over the next couple of weeks.

The move is the latest step in the retailer's efforts to better compete with Amazon, which is delivering groceries directly to shoppers' homes in several areas.

Wal-Mart's test will happen when a customer in one of the approved locations orders groceries online and then selects a delivery window. A shop assistant then selects the products and the team can request a driver from one of the ride-hailing services to go to the store, pick up the customer's order and take it directly to their location.

Customers will pay the usual $7-10 delivery charge online and make no payments to the driver.

Michael Bender, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president and chief operating officer of e-commerce, commented: “We're thrilled about the possibility of delivering new convenient options to our customers and about working with some transformative companies in this test.” He noted that the company will "start small and let our customers guide us."

The tests with Uber and others come as Wal-Mart is also rapidly expanding its curbside grocery delivery to a total of 54 markets in over 200 stores. That allows customers to order groceries online and then pick them up outside their local store. Wal-Mart says 90% of curbside customers are repeat users and more than 90% of its baskets include fresh grocery items like dairy and produce.

Wal-Mart's main focus, however, has been further to capitalise further on its power to combine its brick-and-mortar stores with online shopping.