June 03, 2016

Walmart is partnering with Uber and Lyft (and Deliv) to test a grocery delivery service, in a bid to directly compete with similar offerings from Amazon.

The pilot program will begin within the next two weeks in Denver and one other market, Michael Bender, Walmart’s head of e-commerce, said in a blog post this week.

A Walmart spokesman tells The Wall Street Journal that the service will launch in Denver and Phoenix. Company CEO Doug McMillon will discuss the program at Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday.

A last-mile delivery program would mark a direct challenge to Amazon, which has expanded its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service to several cities across the US.

Michael Bender, Walmart’s head of e-commerce
Walmart launched a similar pilot program in Miami earlier this year, partnering with the delivery startup Deliv to provide groceries and other products from Sam’s Club.

The company has been looking to boost its e-commerce services to compete with Amazon, including an online order pickup program that aims to capitalize on its vast network of US retail locations.

Under the pilot program with Uber and Lyft, customers would place an order online and Walmart employees would prepare the items. The employees would then call an Uber and Lyft driver to deliver the order, with the customer paying a $7 to $10 delivery charge to Walmart.

“We’ll start small and let our customers guide us, but testing new things like last-mile delivery allow us to better evaluate the various ways we can best serve our customers how, when and where they need us,” Michael Bender (pictured above) said in the blog post.

Source: The Verge