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Retail

Wal-Mart To Start Testing Grocery Delivery Through Uber, Lyft

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will begin testing the delivery of groceries using Uber and Lyft drivers, aiming to match the convenience of services offered by Amazon.com Inc. and other e-commerce companies.

The retailer will start trying out Uber in Denver and Lyft in Phoenix within the next two weeks, Wal-Mart’s chief operating officer of e-commerce, Michael Bender, said in a blog post. The company previously began a pilot program in March using Deliv to deliver Sam’s Club groceries and other merchandise in Miami.

The move steps up competition with Amazon’s burgeoning grocery-delivery service and provides a potential new avenue of growth for Uber and Lyft. The idea is to let Wal-Mart customers pick out groceries online and then have employees fill the order and give it to one of the ride-hailing companies’ drivers. Shoppers will pay a $7-to-$10 delivery charge to Wal-Mart to have the groceries brought to their door.

Wal-Mart previously began offering home delivery in Denver and San Jose, California. It also encourages customers to place orders online and pick up the goods at stores -- a bid to capitalize on its thousands of U.S. locations.

“We’ll start small and let our customers guide us, but testing new things like last-mile delivery allow us to better evaluate the various ways we can best serve our customers how, when and where they need us,” Bender said in the post.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, made the announcement ahead of its annual meeting on Friday.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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