Walmart plans to offer its logistics and delivery services to other companies as part of a new last-mile delivery business, the company announced on Monday. The service, called Walmart GoLocal, hopes to serve as a white label delivery offering for businesses big and small, and yet another way for Walmart to try to edge out Amazon.
Details on Walmart GoLocal are fairly sparse, though Walmart does say the service will be “competitively priced” and that it has “already established a number of contractual agreements with national and enterprise retail clients.” Walmart tells The Verge pricing will be based on “the needs of the client and based on what they want to offer to their customers.” The GoLocal website offers a few more details: customers will order directly from a small business, that business’s platform will ping Walmart, Walmart GoLocal will dispatch a delivery driver, and then collect relevant feedback to give to the business. It’s not a wholly unusual setup, both Postmates and DoorDash offer white label solutions that work more or less the same.
One difference in Walmart’s version is its driver pool. According to Reuters, the drivers delivering for Walmart GoLocal customers will be pulled from the company’s Spark delivery service. Walmart piloted Spark as a sort of Uber for grocery delivery — Instacart, another Walmart partner, is a good analog — but opening them up to non-Walmart deliveries (and non-food deliveries) could make Spark work a lot more like a white label Amazon Flex.
Walmart claims it will also make deliveries via drone or autonomous vehicle depending on the size of the delivery and the location. As noted by DroneDJ, Walmart’s investment in DroneUp’s 10,000 Federal Aviation Administration certified pilots will probably help with the drone part of the equation. Delivery by autonomous car might similarly be supported by another Walmart investment — Cruise’s self-driving electric cars.
GoLocal, Spark, DroneUp, and the rest are a mess of brand names and business investments, but further proof of all the bets Walmart is placing on mastering delivery before Amazon becomes the de facto standard. Not every one of Walmart’s moves against tech giants like Amazon or Netflix have worked out — see the sale of Vudu to Fandango — but with last-mile delivery, Walmart is at least playing in a space it’s already familiar with.