03 June, 2017
Last month, the company started testing the package-delivery program in three of its stores; two of the stores are in New Jersey and the third is in northwest Arkansas.
Walmart has 4,700 stores across the US and more than a million retail employees and about 90% of the USA population lives within 10 miles of a Wal-Mart store. Lore added: "This test could be a game-changer".
Walmart trucks already move orders to stores from fulfillment centers, and can transport ship-to-home orders to a store close to the final destination, Love said. Wal-Mart said employees can choose which days they want to deliver items, the number of packages they want to drop off and the size of the items they'll take with them. The retailer assigns deliveries to associates in a way created to minimize the distance they collectively need to travel. "The secret to our success will always be our people - it will be us", he said, highlighting Walmart's commitment to train and equip workers with the tools and skills they need.
"Once they're done working at the store for the day, they pick up the packages from the backroom, load them into their vehicle, enter the delivery addresses into the Global Positioning System on their phone and head towards home", Lore said.
A lot of technology has gone into the development of this program, hinting that this test is being seriously considered as an alternative way to handle last-mile deliveries at scale. Expect Walmart to expand it rapidly, and other retailers to watch closely and follow suit.
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"It just makes sense", the company said in the blog post. And while it's not yet clear exactly how employees will be paid for this new task, Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala says that they will be paid extra, including overtime if necessary.
At the meeting, McMillon revealed some more of the futuristic inventions Walmart is beginning to test at its stores, and it's nearly daunting how progressive some of them are. At a time when so many retailers are laying off staff, and there is a feeling of disenfranchisement among associates, this is a great way of getting them engaged to promote positive customer experiences. In January, the company lowered its minimum threshold for free two-day delivery to $35, which resulted in Wal-Mart's biggest competitor Amazon lowering its own minimum. The company says that this surge is not due to acquisitions but it is driven by the changes in the shipping strategy; also the discount offered to shoppers picking up their online orders.
"I'm sure you can imagine how we can leverage these types of last-mile innovations in the future to deliver items offered in our stores to customers the same day", Lore said.
Workers can opt in to earn extra money by making deliveries using their own cars. The move is seen as a way for the retailer to catch up with Amazon.com, Inc.