Aiming to solve the “last mile” challenge, that is – the last step in the shipping process as products make their way from a fulfillment center to the consumer’s door, Walmart has added another star to its growing e-commerce portfolio. The company announced yesterday (Oct. 3) that it has acquired Parcel, a technology based, same-day and last-mile delivery company specializing in perishable and non-perishable delivery to customers in New York City, for an undisclosed sum which is “smaller than previous acquisitions” the company made this year (e.g., Bonobos’ $ 310mn acquisition).
“Parcel built a technology platform from the ground up to automate their operations and provide clients and customers with live updates throughout the delivery process. From a warehouse in Brooklyn, Parcel receives packages destined for customers throughout New York City. Using routing algorithms, a fleet of leased trucks, and a professional, employee-based workforce, they’re able to quickly sort and load packages for delivery routes”.
According to Nate Faust, senior vice president, Walmart U.S. eCommerce Supply Chain, delivery is increasingly one of the most important elements for today’s online shoppers, as demands for speed, flexibility, and reliability continue to grow. That’s why my team spends a lot of time thinking about ways we can make deliveries faster and more convenient for customers. Parcel is a proven leader in e-commerce package delivery, including taking fresh, frozen and perishable food, and also has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies, delivering more than 1 million meals in the past two years.
As Jet is testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to customers in New York City, the company plans 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.”.
Indeed, New York City is the top market for both Jet and Walmart.com, and because of the density of the area – along with the proximity of our fulfillment centers – it is a particularly challenging market.
The Parcel offering will join Walmart’s existing fulfillment options, including free two-day shipping to home, a pickup discount and free online grocery pickup service. Further innovations range from associate delivery to in-building and in-fridge delivery with Latch and August Home.