Supply Chain Industry News: Walmart Tests New Delivery Program

Supply Chain Industry News: Walmart Tests New Delivery Program

Walmart employees in 2 stores in New Jersey and 1 in Arkansas are currently delivering online orders on their way home.

As reported by the Washington Post on June 1st, Walmart spokesman, Ravi Jariwala, said employees volunteering for the program receive extra pay and overtime when applicable, and that the program makes sense given that most Americans live 10 miles or less from a Walmart. Employees using a proprietary company app and GPS decide on the size and weight of the packages they carry and the number of deliveries they make, up to 10 per day.

Marc Lore, President and CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, thinks this test program will be a win-win for customers and employees. In a blog post on Walmart Today, Lore said “the response from associates and customers has been great. Many orders are being delivered the next day, and associates love having the option to earn more cash while doing something that’s already part of their daily routine.”

Beyond the glowing optimism, few details are currently available, provoking questions about the rate of pay, mileage, vehicle wear, liability and the amount of risk the employees will be shouldering. Similar programs by Google Express and Amazon Prime Now drew class action lawsuits in 2015 related to low wages as well as overtime and independent contractor classification disputes.

It also unclear when or if the program will expand. A previous shipping model tested by Walmart and designed to compete with Amazon’s Prime service lasted only 8 months. Walmart has also partnered with Uber, Lyft and Deliv in the past and is still testing Uber in Arizona.

Riding high on a 63% increase in online sales for the first quarter and eyeing Amazon’s market share, Walmart hopes the program will reduce the cost associated with online purchase deliveries.