Walmart is now fully in the e-commerce ring with Amazon in a fight that is decidedly giant versus giant. And to try to gain an edge, the retailer behemoth is testing a new scheme: having employees drop off packages to customers on their way home, reports Quartz. The idea is to save money on the dreaded "last mile" of the order-and-delivery process, which can be the most expensive part of the chain. "It just makes sense," Walmart exec Marc Lore writes in a blog post. "Once they’re done working at the store for the day, they pick up the packages from the backroom, load them into their vehicle, enter the delivery addresses into the GPS on their phone and head toward home." Workers will get paid extra for their trouble, but Walmart didn't disclose details on that, notes CNBC.
Lore calls it "creating efficiencies in our business," and he clearly hopes that by having employees deliver shipments straight to the doors of customers, shipping costs will be cut as deliveries are more streamlined and speedy. The pilot project is starting in three cities in New Jersey and Arkansas, and Lore notes that Walmart "associates" can choose to participate or not. Walmart has developed an app just for this pilot test, and Quartz speculates that this test may be an early sign that the company's experiment hiring Lyft and Uber drivers as couriers is coming to an end. (See why Run-DMC sued both Walmart and Amazon for $50 million.)