FedEx to Open Small-Format Shops in 500 Walmart Stores
FedEx Office, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., and Walmart said yesterday that FedEx Office will bring its small-format stores for printing, packing and shipping into 500 of Walmart's stores nationwide in the next 24 months. The announcement comes after completion of a successful pilot program spanning 47 locations within Walmart stores across six states. Besides printing, packing and shipping, Walmart-based FedEx Office locations offer customers the ability to direct their packages to be held at any Walmart-based FedEx Office location for up to five business days either directly or by redirecting using FedEx Delivery Manager. Shoppers will also be able to process returns there. Walmart recently surveyed its customers and found that the services they wanted most that weren't already in its stores were packaging and shipping.
Total Retail's Take: This seems to be a good move for both companies. For Walmart, emphasizing its capacities as a "one-stop-shop" will help it compete more closely with e-commerce rivals such as Amazon.com. By partnering with FedEx, Walmart will also help reduce some strain on fulfilling last-mile deliveries, which Amazon and Target are focusing on as well. Amazon, for example, has started placing its pickup lockers within Whole Foods stores as well as malls. Target recently acquired Grand Junction and Shipt to optimize its supply chain. What's more, Walmart found in the pilot that customers were shopping in its stores after first visiting FedEx, boosting foot traffic. FedEx, meanwhile, is investing in expanding its retail presence across the U.S. It already has pick-up and drop-off locations inside retailers including Office Depot, Walgreens, Kroger and Albertsons.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.