retail news in context, analysis with attitude

TechCrunch reports that Walmart has acquired "select assets - including talent, technology platform and IP" of JoyRun, described as a "peer-to-peer food and drink delivery service" that "has amassed a network of 540 third-party merchant partners and north of 30,000 people who have delivered goods with the service since its launch half-a-decade ago."

The story describes the JoyRun app as letting people "find out who, nearby, is already heading out to a restaurant that they like, then tack on an order of their own.”

KC's View:

On the one hand, it could be a little problematic to build a last-mile solution out of technology that essentially enables me to say to a neighbor, "Hey, if you're going to Walmart, would you mind picking something up for me?"

Then again, the neighbor I know may be more trustworthy than the Uber or Instacart driver I don't.

And, let's face it. Walmart is the company that had the idea that another last mile solution could be crafted out of using its store personnel to drop stuff off to customers on their way home from work.  So clearly it is willing to try lots of different - and even unorthodox - solutions as it addresses the delivery challenge.