On Tuesday, Walmart announced the introduction of GoLocal, a delivery service that would transport products from other local merchants to customers.
The retail giant stated that it plans to start delivering by the end of 2021, and that the deliveries would be made by using newer technology such as self-driving cars and drones.
Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of Last Mile, told CNBC, “It’s about bringing the capabilities that we as Walmart have been laser-focused on creating and connecting for our own consumers to life for both local and national companies.”
What does GoLocal do?
GoLocal as a service will be white-labeled, according to Walmart, which means shipments will not be performed by Walmart-branded cars. The firm stated that it will provide competitively priced two-hour shipping as well as a 48 hour delivery option. Deliveries will be made by a mix of colleagues, gig workers, and, on occasion, other delivery businesses.
For online package delivery, Walmart has collaborated with FedEx. FedEx will not be employed for GoLocal, according to the business.
Ward, on the other hand, stated that the store will work with innovative delivery partners such as Cruise, a self-driving electric car start-up that Walmart has been invested in since last year, as well as Waymo and Nuro. Deliveries made using Drones will also be a priority, with DroneUP, ZipLine and FlyTrex as partners. It is worth mentioning that Walmart invested in DroneUP last year.
Why did the company launch GoLocal?
Walmart has been improving its delivery capacity for items to customers over the past five years. It paid $3.3 billion for e-commerce start-up Jet.com in August 2016. Walmart began its grocery delivery service in March 2018, fulfilling orders placed at Walmart locations. Walmart Fulfillment Services was created in February of 2020 to better compete with marketplace-focused sites like Amazon and Shopify.
Jet.com was shut down in May 2020, although Walmart CEO Doug McMillon acknowledged the takeover with helping the firm expand its delivery network.
Amazon established a comparable service, Amazon Shipping, to start competing with UPS and FedEx, however the service was discontinued in June 2020.
According to David Vernon, a senior transportation analyst at Bernstein, a retailer’s local delivery service is unlikely to have a major influence on FedEx and UPS revenues.
GoLocal has already agreements with a handful of national retail clients, according to Walmart, and will begin taking new partner applications on Tuesday.
You can read Walmarts statement here.