business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From Business Insider:

"Walmart has attracted hundreds of thousands of gig workers to make deliveries through its Spark Driver app. But now, it's trying to get store associates to make more deliveries themselves."

"We'll have associates doing more deliveries," says Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, adding that "right now, the number of associate deliveries is relatively small — very small compared to what happens with independent contractors on various platforms, including the Spark platform."

However, the story says, "Walmart has cut back on its partnerships with some third-party delivery services. Last summer, for example, Walmart parted ways with DoorDash after the service spent four years delivering orders for the retailer."

Walmart has talked about this before, but it strikes me that this requires the creation of significant infrastructure to make it work.  That costs money - which Walmart has, of course.  But there's a reason that gig employees have dominated the segment - it allows companies to put these costs onto a variable budget line.  So we'll see if this plays out the way Walmart is projecting.