Walmart will test same-day delivery with purchase of Parcel

Jesse Kaplan is the founder and chief executive officer of Parcel a last-mile delivery start-up

Outside of New York, Walmart and Jet have offered free two-day shipping for orders of $35 or more, an attempt to blunt the popularity of Amazon's two-day guarantee for members of its Prime program.

Wal-Mart Stores has acquired Parcel, a technology-enhanced delivery company with experience in same-day perishable delivery, with an eye on using the company to build on efforts to provide same-day fulfillment on online orders through Jet and Walmart in New York City.

Walmart's acquisition of Parcel will supercharge the retailer's efforts to bring same-day delivery to NY.

The company said it plans to help Parcel grow its existing customer base while testing same-day delivery service for groceries and Walmart products.

Parcel will add to Walmart's ability to deliver to high-density cities, which the company considers a "top market" according to a news release.

Along with Kaplan, Parcel's other six full-time employees will also join Walmart.

What's more, same-day delivery is a way for Walmart to get more business from New York City customers, a market of 8.5 million people that doesn't have a single Walmart location.

"This acquisition allows us to continue testing ways to offer fast delivery while lowering our operating costs", Mr. Faust said. Jet has been testing same-day delivery in NY, and Parcel will become the (literal) vehicle for that service's expansion.

At the time that Walmart U.S. e-commerce lead Marc Lore announced the development, Bloomberg News found the company's customer service department was unaware the services was forthcoming. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Wal-Mart said the acquisition price "was smaller than previous acquisitions we've made this year".

"Customers' expectations around delivery and what is possible have changed significantly in the past couple of years", Nate Faust, Senior Vice President of Walmart U.S. eCommerce Supply Chain, said in a statement.

Wal-Mart now offers grocery pick-up service at hundreds of stores nationwide and recently began testing same-day delivery at a handful of stores. Recently, the retailer began testing "in-fridge delivery", a service that stocks a customer's refrigerator while he or she is away from home. "No problem" emblazoned on the side in big letters. Further innovations range from associate delivery to in-building and in-fridge delivery with Latch and August Home.

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