retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports that Walmart has decided to end its grocery delivery partnerships with ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft, a move that the story says “undercuts a vision the ride-hailing companies laid out: a service that can efficiently deliver anything on-demand, including people and cargo, at the touch of a smartphone app.”

The story also suggests that the decision is “a potential setback for the retailer's ambitions to challenge Amazon.com head-on with speedy delivery of groceries to people's homes.”

According to Reuters, Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman “said Walmart will use other delivery service providers in the four markets where it had previously used Uber … Blakeman said the end of the partnerships will not impact Walmart's plans to scale grocery delivery as they are not tied to any single provider … Walmart has added startups Deliv, Postmates, and DoorDash to its list of delivery partners. These companies have the singular business of delivering goods, not people, and drivers have more experience safely transporting perishables.”
KC's View:
I am a huge fan of Lyft, and use it frequently when traveling … but I’m not sure I want them delivering my groceries. I was skeptical about this component of their business from the beginning, so I’m not hugely surprised by this.

I continue to believe that Walmart is testing out a bunch of different delivery options as a prelude to buying one of them.