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Walmart (WMT) Ups Delivery Game Again With Cruise Alliance

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Walmart Inc. (WMT - Free Report) has been extending all limits with regard to its efforts to enhance pickup and delivery services all the more amid the pandemic-led increased online shopping (especially grocery). Taking another step in this direction, it is partnering with Cruise, which is a subsidiary of General Motors (GM - Free Report) , to test deliveries via self-driving cars.  

The pilot will start early next year at Scottsdale, AZ, wherein customers can place their orders with local stores and get contact-less deliveries through Cruise’s all-electric self-driving cars. Markedly, Cruise operates a fleet of all-electric vehicles, which are powered with 100% renewable energy. Apart from Cruise, Walmart has tested deliveries with other self-driving cars as well as with drones.

Clearly, the omnichannel retailer has been pushing the edge out of the envelope to strengthen its delivery game and stay firm amid the growing competition from Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) .

Walmart Continues to Up Delivery Game

Given the rising demand for online grocery, a number of retailers like Target (TGT - Free Report) and Walmart, to name a few, have been focused on providing easy shopping methods and seamless grocery deliveries. In fact, the companies’ delivery services have become all the more vital amid coronavirus-led social distancing. Talking of Walmart, the company recently unveiled its Walmart+ membership program, offering unlimited free delivery of more than 160,000 items sold in stores, including groceries. Additionally, customers can avail discounts for fuel and have Scan & Go options to skip the checkout line.

Moreover, Walmart tested on-demand drone delivery with Zipline and Flytrex in September. Prior to this, the company launched Express Delivery during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 at several stores that helps it deliver orders to customers in less than two hours. The service has been expanded to more than 2,800 stores, which are accessible to more than 65% of U.S. households. Apart from this, the company’s Walmart Pickup program enables customers to place orders online and then pick them up at a store for free.

Notably, Walmart’s solid inroads into the delivery space have been fueling the company’s e-commerce business. Incidentally, U.S. e-commerce sales soared a whopping 97% in the second quarter with strength across all channels. Weekly average digital customer count as well as repeat rates grew significantly and boosted e-commerce sales. Also, marketplace sales jumped at a triple-digit rate.

We note that the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has gained 11.8% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 10.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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