Walmart has announced the company has recently begun a trial that enables store associates to deliver store items to customers in a new way to improve “last mile” delivery. The trial, which is early in development, pays participating store associates to deliver customer packages on their existing commute home from work, substantially increasing the retailer’s reach into suburban and rural communities.
At Walmart’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, President and CEO Doug McMillon said Walmart has “started to invent the future of shopping again,” as the company leverages technology to empower associates and improve the customer experience. “Together, we’re building a new Walmart,” Mr. McMillon said. “We’re going to make shopping with us faster, easier and more enjoyable. We’ll do more than just save customers money and you, our associates, will make the difference. Looking ahead, we will compete with technology, but win with people. We will be people-led and tech-empowered.”
Mr. McMillon noted other tests that will empower and benefit customers. They include digital endless-aisle shopping in stores, automated pickup towers in stores for online orders, pickup stations in store parking lots, robotics and image analytics to scan aisles for item availability and shelf presentation and machine learning and more advanced algorithms in pricing systems.
“I think we should recognize that we’ll be able to learn, grow and change together,” he said. “Our world is increasingly transparent and we’re out to earn trust,” he said. “When people shine a light on Walmart and see our decisions – the jobs we create, the activities in our supply chain – we want them to like what they see.”