Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing a program in which store workers deliver some orders placed on Walmart.com or Jet.com, a sign of how the retailer hopes to use its 4,700 U.S. stores to its advantage in its battle against Amazon.com Inc.
The test is small, active for just a few weeks in an Arkansas store near Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters and two New Jersey stores near the offices of Jet.com, the discount retailer Wal-Mart bought for $3.3bn last September. A spokesman said only a few hundred packages have been delivered by store workers so far.
But Wal-Mart's idea is significant as the largest private employer in the U.S attempts to head off Amazon's continuing efforts to offer shoppers fast and convenient ways to receive goods at home, including one-hour delivery on thousands of products in 45 cities.
“Imagine all the routes our associates drive [while going] to and from work and the houses they pass along the way,” said Wal-Mart U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore in a blog post.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.