TECHNOLOGY

Walmart ups same-day delivery capabilities with Big Apple acquisition

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is determined not to be bested by Amazon when it comes to same-day delivery.

The discounter announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Parcel, a last-mile delivery startup that specializes in delivery of perishable items and general merchandise to customers in New York City. Operating out of a warehouse in Brooklyn, Parcel delivers goods the same-day, overnight and in scheduled two-hour windows, providing customers with live updates via text messages throughout the delivery process.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition comes as Walmart’s Jet.com has been testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to customers in New York City.

“We can build upon that, and plan to leverage Parcel for last-mile delivery to customers in New York City – including same-day delivery – for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet,” Nate Faust, senior VP, Walmart U.S. eCommerce supply chain, wrote on the company’s website.

The extreme density of the New York City area makes it a complicated market for delivery. Walmart will now be able tap into Parcel’s home grown familiarity with the market. (According to Recode, Parcel, which was founded in 2013, has compiled a database of every New York City building it has delivered to, including photos and detailed information on service entrances.)

“Born and bred in New York City, Parcel has developed unique expertise delivering to customers in a distinctly challenging and essential market,” Faust said. “This acquisition allows us to continue testing ways to offer fast delivery while lowering our operating costs.”

Parcel will also continue to service and grow its current clients, Walmart said. The company has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies.

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