Walmart shrinks employee delivery pilot programme

Walmart is no longer to use employees to deliver goods to customers’ houses after the pilot programme has shown less than satisfactory results. It is now testing employee delivery on a smaller scale.

The idea of the scheme was to pay its staff extra money to do deliveries after their shifts at work. In this way Walmart could compete with Amazon and other online retailers, and to reduce shipping costs.

“Our stores put us within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population,” Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S.. said in a blog post announcing the pilot in 2017. “Now imagine all the routes our associates drive to and from work and the houses they pass along the way. It’s easy to see why this test could be a game-changer..”

The pilot was started in New Jersey and Arkansas before being rolled out nationwide.

It is apparent that Walmart’s employees weren’t comfortable with the idea and not enough volunteered due top unresolved issues around delivery and car insurance and liability should parcels go missing or arrive broken.

The pilot has been scaled back to four Walmart employees in Woodstock, GA.

However not everyone is focused on the failure of the Walmart’s pilot. Niklas Hedin, CEO of Centiro said, “Some may see this as a battle lost, but Walmart is determined to win the wider war around last-mile delivery. Although Walmart has halted this trial, its development of the scheme shows it has far from given up on its longer-term mission to seize control of deliveries.

“Retailers are seeing greater pressures on their delivery capabilities than ever before – having to contend with shipping a wider variety of goods to a huge number of different locations. Yet, if customers’ expectations aren’t met, they will simply shop elsewhere in the future.

“By reclaiming some responsibility from carriers, retailers like Walmart can ensure they do not lose control of the last mile; allowing them to create a robust full-circle customer experience, and provide the confidence to know they are in control of their own destiny.”