Forget about ship-from-store. Walmart is planning on going store-to-store. In efforts to grow sales and grab further share of the American retail market with its smaller store formats the chain is looking to manage the expenses of supplying these locations by shipping products from nearby supercenters rather than sending out large trucks from its distribution centers.
In a meeting this week with analysts, Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said the chain is already engaged in picking items delivered to supercenters to send to customers. It is also currently in the first phase of test in which pallets are sent to supercenters and moved to other trucks for delivery to its Neighborhood Markets or Express format stores.
Mr. Simon said tests so far have been "very encouraging" and the backroom operations of supercenters haven't been "substantially impaired" by the process.
Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Walmart U.S., said, "If you think about our DCs and the backrooms of the stores, they're actually more similar than what you would think. ... We know the location of every box, the same thing in the DCs."
"I think it's a fundamental shift in their real estate strategy" to look at things market-by-market rather than store-by-store and is a "sophisticated development," Stewart Samuel, program director at IGD, told Reuters.
How likely is Walmart's plan to cross-dock goods through its supercenters to work?