Millennium Post

Future retail? Wal-Mart to test Uber, Lyft for online grocery delivery

Wal-Mart Stores Inc says it will be testing its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft in the next two weeks in Denver and Phoenix. That’s in addition to a quiet pilot program that started in March with Deliv for its Sam’s Club customers that involves delivery of general merchandise and grocery for business members in Miami. The move is the latest step in the retailer’s efforts to better compete with Amazon, which is delivering groceries directly to shoppers’ homes in several markets.

Wal-Mart’s test works this way: A customer in one of the test locations orders groceries online and then selects a delivery window. A personal shopper then selects the products and the team may request a driver from one of these services to go to the store, pick up the customer’s order and take it directly to the customer’s location. Customers pay Wal-Mart the regular $7 to $10 delivery charge online and make no payments to the driver.

“We’re thrilled about the possibility of delivering new convenient options to our customers, and about working with some transformative companies in this test,” Michael Bender, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Wal-Mart Global e-commerce wrote in a blog posted Friday.

He noted that the company will “start small and let our customers guide us.” The tests with Uber and others come as Wal-Mart is also rapidly expanding its curbside grocery delivery to 14 new markets for a total of 54 markets and in over 200 stores. That allows customers to order groceries online and then pick them up outside their local store. Wal-Mart says 90 per cent of its curbside customers are repeat users and more than 90 per cent of its baskets include fresh grocery items like dairy and produce. It’s also been testing grocery home delivery service in San Jose, California, and Denver, Colorado.

Uber to expand uberPOOL to 3 more cities
US-based cab aggregator Uber on Friday said it will expand its carpooling service to three more Indian cities -- Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai -- on June 5. The service, which was launched in India about six months back, is currently available in Delhi and Bengaluru. This secrvice “uberPOOL enables people going the same way at the same time to share their journey -- bringing carpooling at the tap of a button. More people in fewer cars means cheaper rides for passengers and less congestion over time,” Uber India President Amit Jain said. Since the launch of uberPOOL in Delhi and Bengaluru, 25 per cent of all trips in the two cities are now on uberPOOL, he added. Uber’s local rival, Ola also has a similar product -- Ola Share -- that allows users to carpool to get cheaper rides. “Apart from reducing congestion and pollution in our cities over time, uberPOOL also means results in riders having to pay less and drivers spending less idle time between rides. It is a simple yet powerful example of how we can use technology to transform our cities,” Jain said. The company said an estimated 798 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions cut have been achieved with users using uberPOOL. 

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