Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, with 4,700 U.S. stores and roughly 1.2 million employees, is testing an “associate delivery” program for its ship-to-home orders. It’s a move to make them more competitive, especially with its biggest online competitor: Amazon.
Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart’s U.S. online operations, wrote on the company website, “It just makes sense: We already have trucks moving orders from fulfillment centers to stores for pickup. Those same trucks could be used to bring ship-to-home orders to a store close to their final destination, where a participating associate can sign up to deliver them to the customer’s house. The best part is this gives our own associates a way to earn extra income on their existing drive home. Now imagine all the routes our associates drive to and from work and the houses they pass along the way.”
It’s up to the employees if they wish to participate and they will be compensated for the additional work.
Walmart offers free, two-day shipping for online orders of its most popular items with a minimum purchase of $35.
Ravi Jariwala, a Walmart spokesman says participating employees will have to undergo background checks and will need clean driving records. They will be able to use an app to specify how many packages they are open to deliver. The software is so intuitive, it factors in the collective distance workers need to travel off of their commute to make a delivery.
Walmart has previously tested delivery services using Uber drivers.
Lore commented that employees “love having the option to earn more cash while doing something that’s already part of their daily routine.”
The service is being tested at two stores in New Jersey and one in Arkansas.