Walmart’s recently piloted last-mile delivery program, Spark Delivery—which is part of its Grocery Delivery options—is seeing expansion efforts. It started out in Nashville and New Orleans, but the retailer believes it will expand to more metropolitan areas this year, providing quality fresh meat, seafood, baked goods, and produce to the retailer’s consumers.
“We’re saving customers time by leveraging new technology, and connecting all the parts of our business into a single seamless shopping experience: great stores, easy pickup, fast delivery, and apps and websites that are simple to use,” President and CEO of Walmart U.S. Greg Foran shared. “We’re serving our customers in ways that no one else can. Using our size and scale, we’re bringing the best of Walmart to customers across the country. Spark Delivery is one way we’re exploring how to get quality groceries from our door to our customers’ doors.”
The platform uses independent drivers, who have teamed up with Delivery Drivers, Inc., to bring consumers’ goods to their front door, meaning the retailer will allow drivers to choose windows of time that work best for their schedules—as well as provides Grocery Delivery order details, navigation assistance, and more. According to a press release, Bringg, a leader in delivery logistics technology, powers components of Spark. Further, Walmart’s personal shoppers participate in the process by shopping for customers’ orders.
Spark drivers are recruited, screened, and given background checks. Once hired, they are given payment per delivery, accounting, and other services. The drivers also gain insight into order flow, group discounts, and a Contractor Entrepreneurial Program that helps drivers to establish small businesses.
“It is important to us at DDI that we help each independent driver run their transportation business correctly,” said Aaron Hageman, CEO, Delivery Drivers, Inc. “We are excited to partner with Walmart to allow them to focus on providing great products while we can build and support a professional driver network to focus on the delivery side of the business.”
Walmart is able to deliver to 40 percent of its U.S. households, or 100 metro areas, thanks to the newly developed grocery delivery services. Grocery Delivery is available in almost 50 markets right now—including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Miami, and Seattle. On the other hand, Spark Delivery is available in Nashville and New Orleans, with plans to release the offering to more metro areas this year.
“Our customers love Grocery Pickup and Delivery—it offers convenience paired with the everyday low prices customers expect from us,” Tom Ward, VP of U.S. Walmart's Digital Operations, said. “We’re always looking for the best ways to serve them, so we’re exploring a number of different options for getting groceries from our stores to the customer’s front door—some in-house, some third-party.”
A $30 purchase minimum per order and a $9.95 fee are required to use the services, but there is no subscription or price markups.
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