Walmart is testing same-day delivery in locations like Philadelphia and Minneapolis, ostensibly to expand their offerings and flexibility during the holiday shopping season. But are they really trying to compete with Amazon? Worries have been floating for a while now that the growth of the online behemoth’s same-day delivery service will put (even more) local stores out of business. Walmart’s no struggling mom-and-pop shop, but their new delivery system could be intended to beat Amazon at its own game.
And even if the same-day delivery isn’t meant to compete with Amazon, it’s still emblematic of the ways stores and online retailers alike are changing their methods in order to keep up with the online giant. If Walmart, the country’s largest discount chain, is driven to experiment with new systems because of Amazon, it’s probably a harbinger of things to come across the retail spectrum.
Amazon aside, it’s also possible that Walmart is experimenting with new online ordering models as an answer to services like Fresh Direct (their system is similar in that customers choose their own delivery window). And of course, the retailer occasionally surprises with its penchant for experimentation. Their latest offering could be quite successful and could lead a general paradigm shift. Now, if only the retailer could put as much effort into treating their workers fairly.