Walmart Ditched Associate Delivery Program After Six Months

| Mike O'Brien

Less than a year into a pilot program that had employees making local deliveries of online orders, Walmart in January all but quashed the program quietly as associate buy-in wasn’t happening. See how it’s still happening at one Georgia store, and other ways Walmart is working to figure out local fulfillment of ecommerce orders.

The Grocery Wars Heat Up with Amazon Expansion

| Mike O'Brien

Flexing its Whole Foods Market muscles, Amazon announced an expansion of same-day grocery delivery in New York and three cities in Florida, after Walmart’s Jet.com and FreshDirect both announced plans for fulfillment centers in the Bronx, NY.

UPS Testing Smart Lock Delivery in New York

| Mike O'Brien

Following similar moves by FedEx, Amazon and Jet.com, UPS is piloting deliveries to multi-unit New York dwellings when residents are absent, in partnership with smart lock maker Latch. Preliminary tests began in Manhattan earlier this year and have now expanded to Brooklyn.

Amazon Prime Day Sales Up 24% from Last Year

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon said Prime Day was another big winner, calling it the biggest shopping day in its history, with more than 100 million products purchased by Prime members during the 36-hour extravaganza that stretched from mid-afternoon on July 16 to the early morning hours of July 18 on the east coast.

Jet.com Will Use New Bronx FC for Same-Day Grocery Delivery in NYC

| Mike O'Brien

As the battle heats up for same-day grocery delivery in urban markets, Jet.com is opening a new fulfillment center this fall in the Bronx, NY to service New York City customers with not only food in a flash but other merchandise as well. See what other players are up to in the hyper-competitive market.

Amazon Expands Hub Pickup Lockers in Apartment Buildings

| Mike O'Brien

A year after a quiet introduction, Amazon is expanding Hub by Amazon, secure keypad-access lockers in high-rise and garden apartments that allow shoppers to grab packages at their convenience. Interestingly, the service is available to other shippers as well as Amazon itself.

Walmart’s Jetblack Marries Personalized Shopping, Same-Day Speed

| Mike O'Brien

Jetblack, Walmart’s new invite-only, personalized shopping service aimed at busy moms in Manhattan and Brooklyn, allows members to get same-day orders fulfilled by texting them in, at $50 a month. It’s the latest example of the beast of Bentonville seeking to go upmarket and out-innovate main rival Amazon.

Walmart Pays $16 Billion for 77% Stake in Flipkart

| Mike O'Brien

Ending weeks of back and forth, Walmart confirmed it is making a $16 billion investment in Indian ecommerce marketplace Flipkart, giving it a 77% stake, increasing its presence in the rapidly growing market and edging out a bid from rival Amazon.

Amazon Suddenly Drops Out of Google Shopping PLAs

| Mike O'Brien

After testing the waters, Amazon has stopped bidding on product listing ads on Google Shopping, according to data from marketing agency Merkle, opening the door for home goods sellers in their absence. See what this decision means for sellers, and what might be behind it.