A little over six months 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, according to Reuters.
The program is still in place at one store in Woodstock, GA, where Walmart has hired four dedicated drivers to ferry online orders for grocery and related items – a scaled-back version of the pilot, which also fulfilled general merchandise orders.
Concerns expressed by 16 associate drivers who were interviewed by Reuters included liability for accidents and lost or damaged products, low pay ($2 per package) and lack of compensation for overtime.
Rival Amazon, by contrast, pays gig delivery drivers in the Amazon Flex program $18 to $25 per hour, with drivers assuming fuel costs, according to the Flex site.
Walmart ended partnerships with Uber and Lyft earlier this year, according to Reuters, as drivers were having difficulty juggling fares and packages. The retailer still uses Postmates, Deliv and Doordash for grocery delivery as it seeks ways to quickly and economically fulfill online orders in decentralized fashion.
Last week Walmart announced a pilot program for grocery deliveries with self-driving car startup Waymo, part of Google parent Alphabet Inc., in Chandler, AZ outside Phoenix. “While orders are being prepared at the store, Waymo vehicles will transport the rider to and from Walmart to collect their groceries,” Waymo said in a blog post.
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