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Walmart this morning announced Walmart GoLocal, a new delivery service that will service other retailers around the country using traditional vehicles as well as autonomous cars and drones.  The company describes it as "poised to be a top white-label delivery service provider and furthers the retailer’s strategy to build alternative revenue streams and profit pools."

The company says that "Walmart GoLocal is built on the retailer’s proven ability to execute delivery capabilities at scale with efficiency. In just three years, Walmart launched and scaled delivery and Express delivery for its customers on 160,000+ items from more than 3,000 stores, reaching nearly 70% of the U.S. population and growing using its existing delivery network, including drones, autonomous vehicles and market fulfillment centers … Walmart GoLocal has already established a number of contractual agreements with national and enterprise retail clients and is currently accepting select new merchant partners."

In its story, CNBC writes that Walmart "will offer competitively priced shipping within two hours as well as a two-day delivery option. The deliveries will be handled by a combination of associates, gig workers and at times other delivery companies.  Walmart is currently partnered with FedEx for online package delivery. The company would not say if FedEx would be used for GoLocal."

The Associated Press writes that "the strategy announced Tuesday will pit Walmart against the likes of Uber, DoorDash and other delivery services. It comes as Walmart moves to expand its sources of profits and revenues beyond its core retail businesses. It's a strategy similar to Amazon's cloud computing unit called Amazon Web Services, which the online behemoth built for itself and now sells to other businesses."

And the Wall Street Journal writes:  "The acceleration of e-commerce delivery has pushed more retailers to look at even speedier delivery options. Inc., for instance, offers same-day delivery on around 3 million items in select areas. Target’s Shipt does same-day deliveries from its stores and others. Other companies like DoorDash Inc., Instacart Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. use gig workers to fulfill orders for all sorts of merchants."'

KC's View:

What I find interesting about this story is that to this point, at least, Walmart has not branded its delivery services to the degree that Amazon has.  I see Amazon Prime vans on my street all the time - as much or more than I see FedEx or UPS trucks - but I never have seen a Walmart vase, to the best of my memory.

I've actually been surprised that Amazon has not moved more aggressively to offer its delivery services to other retailers, and I'd expect that this will happen at some point.

I can make the argument for why retailers need to be careful about outsourcing their deliveries to companies that easily could compete with them.  But I also can understand why companies like Walmart want to find ways not just to amortize their costs, but generate new revenue streams.