In a new move to ramp up its e-commerce deliveries, Walmart has announced the acquisition of same-day delivery service Parcel. The service specializes in delivering online orders, including fresh, frozen and perishable items. The take-over follows shortly after Walmart announced their start of in-fridge deliveries of fresh groceries.
Changing business plan
Parcel was originally founded in Brooklyn New York as an ‘out-of-office’ delivery service aimed directly at consumers. Users could ship their items to an urban Parcel hub, from which (bike) couriers would make the last-mile deliveries during evening hours or on weekend days. This way users would face less failed parcel deliveries. In return users would pay an extra delivery fee on top of the costs charged by the online retailer. This business model was eventually adapted to its current form, a “customer-centric delivery company built for the age of e-commerce”. Clients mainly include companies offering fresh meal kits.
The take-over provides Walmart with a fresh dose of e-commerce delivery experience, especially in the densely populated urban areas. Parcel has developed a unique in-house system used for routing and optimizing deliveries, and operates its own fleet of vehicles. Walmart will use this infrastructure and expertise to “continue testing ways to offer fast delivery while lowering our operating costs”. Starting, the service will be offered by Walmart in New York for the same-day delivery of both food and non-food items.