Uber isn’t going along on Walmart’s online grocery ride
Walmart’s groceries won’t be getting rides from Uber or Lyft anymore. The retailer has ended its relationship with the two companies after using them to deliver online grocery orders failed to catch on with consumers, according to Reuters.
The decision to end the deal with Uber seems abrupt. The partnership between the two companies, which began in 2016, appeared on strong footing as recently as March when Walmart announced it was expanding grocery home delivery of online orders to more than 40 percent of the country.
At the time, Tom Ward, vice president, digital operations, Walmart U.S., said, “Ninety percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, and we serve more than 150 million customers a week, which gives us a unique opportunity to make every day a little easier for busy families. Today, we’re expanding this promise by helping even more customers save time and money without leaving their homes.”
The retailer appears to be maintaining its commitment to online grocery, which includes both delivery and store pickup options. Walmart has put more emphasis on store pickup, which reduces costs and offers the opportunity for add-on sales. The chain is looking to have pickup available at more than 2,200 stores by the end of next year.
Walmart uses its own personal shoppers, who go through a three-week training program, to pick customer orders. Delivery is handled by outside providers, which will soon no longer include the two ride-sharing services.
For now, it appears as though Walmart will lean on other delivery partners to meet the needs of its customers. Molly Blakeman, a spokesperson for Walmart, told Reuters that the retailer’s ability to deliver grocery orders will not be affected as it transitions from using Uber and Lyft to other partners including Deliv, DoorDash and Postmates, which have experience delivering food.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon has identified the importance of the chain’s online grocery shoppers, who spend nearly twice that of customers who shop only in its stores.
- Walmart’s grocery delivery partnerships with Uber, Lyft fail to take off – Reuters
- Walmart goes big, goes nationwide with online grocery deliveries – RetailWire
- Walmart to expand grocery delivery business to 800 stores by year’s end – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are you surprised by Walmart’s decision to stop using Uber and Lyft to make grocery deliveries? How do you see Walmart’s home grocery delivery operation evolving in the future? Is it wise to use third-party delivery services rather than bringing the entire operation in-house?