retail news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Roadie, a crowdsourced delivery company, has raised $37 million in new funding, including an unspecified investment from Home Depot.

The story notes that “the Atlanta-based startup has been providing same-day delivery services through its ‘on-the-way’ model, which uses an app to tap into drivers already on the road. Roadie delivers orders for retailers such as Home Depot and Walmart Inc., shuttles delayed luggage to Delta Air Lines Inc. travelers and handles personal deliveries for everyday users of its app.”

Roadie launched in 2014 and it says that “it has more than 120,000 drivers across all 50 U.S. states using its app, and it can deliver same day to 89% of U.S. households.”

In other words, Uber for stuff. It sounds like an interesting model, though if I buy something from Home Depot, say, online, and then am having it delivered, I’m not thrilled with the idea of some random person dropping it off. This isn one of the reasons that Amazon is investing in its own delivery infrastructure - retailers need to own the experience, and cannot afford to lose control of it.
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