Walmart Tests Last-Mile Grocery Service

Walmart is continuing to expand its grocery delivery service by giving customers the option to shop when and how they want. The retailer announced a new last-mile delivery pilot, Spark Delivery, on Sept. 5. Spark explores additional ways to deliver customers’ groceries to their homes. 

Throughout the pilot, Walmart will learn how to improve the last-mile delivery process. The test will use an in-house platform that provides drivers with the ability to sign up for windows of time that best work with their schedule, as well as Grocery Delivery order details, navigation assistance and more. Personal shoppers will meticulously shop for orders, and Spark will engage with the service of independent drivers who partner with Deliver Drivers Inc. 

“We’re saving customers time by leveraging new technology, and connecting all the parts of our business into a single seamless shopping experience: great stores, easy pickup, fast delivery, and apps and websites that are simple to use,” saysGreg Foran, president and CEO, Walmart U.S. “We’re serving our customers in ways that no one else can. Using our size and scale, we’re bringing the best of Walmart to customers across the country. Spark Delivery is one way we’re exploring how to get quality groceries from our door to our customers’ doors.”

Delivery Drivers Inc. (DDI) will administer driver management for Spark and will also manage recruiting, screening and background checks, payment and accounting for drivers. Drivers will have access to helpful services and information through DDI, including assistance in understanding order flow, group discounts and a Contractor Entrepreneurial Program that helps drivers establish their own business.

“It is important to us at DDI that we help each independent driver run their transportation business correctly,” says Aaron Hageman, CEO, Delivery Drivers, Inc. “We are excited to partner with Walmart to allow them to focus on providing great products while we can build and support a professional driver network to focus on the delivery side of the business.”

By utilizing third-party delivery drivers, Walmart is on track to bring Grocery Delivery to nearly 40 percent of U.S. households. Currently, the service is available in nearly 50 markets. 

Spark Delivery is being piloted in Nashville and New Orleans with plants to roll out to more metro areas this year.