Walmart is taking its battle for online market share to the place where Amazon has still not dominating – same-day delivery. While both companies offer same-day delivery in some areas, Walmart is upping the battle by acquiring New York-based Parcel, a last-mile, same-day delivery company specializing in perishable and non-perishable delivery in New York City.
Parcel uses technology and a fleet of leased vehicles to make deliveries in New York City. Delivery options include same-day, overnight, and two-hour window timeframes. The company will provide customers delivery updates via text. Unlike some last-mile delivery services, Parcel uses only company drivers.
Walmart said it plans to leverage Parcel for last-mile delivery to customers in New York City for general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet. Parcel will continue to service its existing clients, Walmart said.
“Delivery is increasingly one of the most important elements for today’s online shoppers, as demands for speed, flexibility, and reliability continue to grow. That’s why my team spends a lot of time thinking about ways we can make deliveries faster and more convenient for customers,” Nate Faust, senior vice president, Walmart U.S. eCommerce Supply Chain, said. “Parcel is a proven leader in e-commerce package delivery, including taking fresh, frozen and perishable food, the last mile – that is, the last step in the shipping process as products make their way from a fulfillment center to your door.”
Parcel has partnerships with several meal kit companies as well as grocery and ecommerce businesses.
“But I see even more upside for our own same-day deliveries,” Faust noted. “Jet has been testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to customers in New York City. We can build upon that and plan to leverage Parcel for last-mile delivery to customers in New York City – including same-day delivery – for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet.”
Currently, Parcel operates out of a New York City warehouse where packages are received before heading to their final destination. It’s unclear if Walmart will maintain that structure or have Parcel drivers picking up at Walmart stores or fulfillment centers.
“Born and bred in New York City, Parcel has developed unique expertise delivering to customers in a distinctly challenging and essential market. This acquisition allows us to continue testing ways to offer fast delivery while lowering our operating costs,” Faust said.
The acquisition of Parcel is another in a line of acquisitions Walmart has undertaken in recent years to grab more ecommerce market share, including the purchase of Jet.com in 2016. The company is also testing a program where associates deliver purchases on their way home from work for additional pay and in-building and in-fridge delivery with Latch and August Home.