In a push to deliver an improved omnichannel experience, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has acquired Parcel, a technology-based, same-day and last-mile delivery company that specializes in perishable and nonperishable delivery to customers in New York City.
Parcel has existing partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies, delivering more than one million meals in the last two years, according to Nate Faust, SVP, Walmart U.S. eCommerce Supply Chain, who discussed the deal in a Q&A on Walmart’s website.
A 24/7 operation, Parcel delivers packages the same day, overnight and in scheduled two-hour windows through a technology platform that provides clients and customers live updates throughout the delivery process.
“Jet has been testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to customers in New York City,” says Faust. “We can build upon that and plan to leverage Parcel for last-mile delivery to customers in New York City – including same-day delivery – for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet.”
As a last-mile delivery company, Parcel is the last step in the shipping process for products to be delivered from a fulfillment center to the customer’s door. The company utilizes routing algorithms, a fleet of trucks and an employee-based workforce to quickly sort and load packages from a Brooklyn-based warehouse to delivery routes.
“Last-mile delivery capabilities is a must-have at this point in the grocery delivery game, especially with the continued advancements from Amazon, and WalMart is hoping to take advantage of consumers who see this as a critical part of the shopper journey” says Tushar Patel, CMO, Kibo.
The acquisition is one of several moves WalMart has made to position itself against Amazon, including its recent partnership with August Home to test-run store-to-door delivery service where shoppers would be able to place an order on Walmart.com and have a Deliv driver bring the items to their home.
The deal closed on Sept. 29, 2017, terms of which were not disclosed. However, Walmart says the investment was smaller than previous acquisitions it made this year.
Walmart plans to leverage Parcel for last mile delivery to customers in New York City – including same-day delivery – for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet.
Parcel will continue servicing its current clients and adding others, operating from its New York City headquarters where it can accelerate and scale over time.