Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime on the grocery side, Delivery Unlimited, is expanding nationwide, the company said, reaching 1,400 U.S. stores now and 1,600 by the end of the year. The program had been piloted in Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City and Tampa, and will now be in all 200 markets where grocery delivery is available.
Same day delivery
Amazon and Home Depot will become tenants of a new state-of-the-art, three-story warehouse and fulfillment center in Seattle from logistics giant Prologis, part of the huge push to fulfill ecommerce within a day in major urban markets, according to the Wall Street Journal. Three other such buildings are going up in New York City.
Walmart is offering three-hour delivery for certain home goods and technology products in Mexico, as it battles Amazon in the major Latin American market, according to Reuters. The new service covers 12,000 items including laptops, cell phones, televisions and clothing irons and is supported by two new ecommerce fulfillment centers.
Residents of a North Carolina town will be able to get meals delivered by drone as part of a limited test program sanctioned by the Federal Aviation Administration, as it takes baby steps toward broader approval of drone operations. Israeli drone service firm Flytrex is hoping the test program will expand to all kinds of deliveries, even to backyards.
If we’re looking to turn deliveries into a catalyst for environmental change, drones and autonomous vehicles will help, but we’re not quite there yet. In the meantime enterprises should focus on improving delivery efficiency, which means providing drivers with the most efficient routes and the maximum number of packages per run.
Target reported strong Q2 performance, with 34% growth in ecommerce sales, nearly 75% of which was attributable to its same-day order fulfillment strategy including buy online pickup in store, curbside pickup and local delivery. The retailer beat expectations on earnings, comp growth and revenue, and raised 2019 guidance.
Target is expanding its free curbside pickup program, Drive Up, ahead of the busy back-to-school season, making it available at 1,550 stores and adding coverage in the Northeast, the company reported in a blog post. Several markets are being added in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with expansion in others.
Israeli firm CommonSense Robotics is building what it says is the world’s first underground automated fulfillment operation for grocery delivery, anticipating a future where facilities like this will occupy abandoned urban spaces above and below ground to fulfill one-hour deliveries for city dwellers.
In the never-ending quest for delivery immediacy, grocer Kroger is testing out 30-minute deliveries in its home market of Cincinnati, cutting the promised time from Amazon’s Prime Now in half. Called Kroger Rush, the service costs $5.95 per order, with the first order free, and requires an app download.