Walmart is going head-to-head with Amazon in yet another area: same-day delivery. The retailer has started testing it in several US cities, soon after Amazon started doing the same. Walmart has become increasingly concerned with the threat from Amazon, as its low prices and free two-day shipping for Prime members have convinced more and more customers to order everything from books to toilet paper online. But Walmart could have a serious edge when it comes to same-day delivery: It has more than 4,000 stores, which essentially act as distribution centers, while Amazon has less than 40 distribution centers in the US.
But analysts say same-day delivery, though coveted by retailers, may actually be too expensive and difficult to implement to actually reap worthwhile profits. "If you don’t care about losing a lot of money, sure, you can pull this off," one tells the New York Times. "The question is: Can you pull this off profitably? I’m not convinced." The problem is, same-day delivery may only be useful to those who live in big cities and don't own cars—the rest of the US likely finds it easier to drive to the store than to order before noon, pay $10, specify a four-hour window, and wait around for a delivery, as Walmart.com same-day shoppers must do.