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Wal-Mart, Trying to Hone Its Same-Day Delivery Skills, Buys New York's Parcel

Wal-Mart is sharpening its same-day delivery skills through the acquisition of a small New York City company.

Wal-Mart said Tuesday that Parcel, with a warehouse in Brooklyn, has learned to deftly navigate densely populated areas and get groceries to customers fast. That last leg is key for all retailers in a transformed landscape where the ability to deliver at speed and with low costs brings tremendous advantages in fending off competitors such as Amazon.com.

The announcement comes just a few days after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. introduced higher-end, online groceries that are aimed at younger urbanites.

Wal-Mart's focus on fast, local delivery shows how priorities have shifted for major retailers as they travel to shoppers' homes, rather than the other way around.

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