Wal-Mart Stores has acquired Parcel, a technology-enhanced delivery company with experience in same-day perishable delivery, with an eye on using the company to build on efforts to provide same-day fulfillment on online orders through Jet and Walmart in New York City.
A purchase price was not disclosed, although Walmart in a statement said the consideration was “smaller than previous acquisitions we’ve made this year,” which would include the outdoor apparel retailer Moosejaw, which it acquired in January for $51 million.
Parcel uses routing algorithms, a fleet of leased vehicles, and a professional, employee-based workforce to quickly sort, load and deliver packages to customers. Its current clients — who it will continue to serve, Walmart said — include meal kit companies like Chef’d and Purple Carrot.
“I see even more upside for our own same-day deliveries,” Nate Faust, Walmart’s SVP of U.S. commerce supply chain, said in a blog post. “Jet has been testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to customers in New York City. 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.”
Walmart is testing a variety of fulfillment strategies it said can meet varying and changing consumer demands including options for store pickup, a recently announced test of in-home delivery, and experiments with employee delivery and partnerships with Google Shopping Express, as well as Uber and Lyft.
“Whatever they need and however they’d like it, we aim to provide – including the ability to offer last-minute ordering with same-day delivery service,” Faust said.
Faust said New York, where Parcel is based, is the top market for both Jet and Walmart.com due to the density of the population. “It’s the perfect place for high-impact innovation,” he said.