Walmart Ends Grocery Delivery Partnerships With Uber, Lyft
Walmart's online grocery delivery partnerships with ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft have ended, according to two sources, a potential setback for the retailer's ambitions to challenge Amazon.com with speedy delivery of groceries to people's homes. The end of the Walmart partnerships, which hasn't been previously reported and was confirmed by Walmart and Uber, 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 decision marks an abrupt end to a business relationship that Walmart and Uber announced with much fanfare less than two years ago.
Total Retail's Take: Online grocery shopping – and the subsequent delivery of orders — is a fast-growing category, yet the main players in it are still trying to find their way. Local delivery of food items on a large scale is a challenge that many grocers are tackling for the first time. Part of the urgency to get it right is that traditional grocers and other retailers that sell groceries (i.e., Walmart, Target) realize that Amazon is breathing down their necks. With its purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon, known for its excellence in logistics and fast delivery, figures to quickly scale its online grocery business. Walmart knows the clock is ticking and believed a partnership with Uber would enable it to compete in this space. Now that the Uber experiment has failed, it's on to Plan B — looking for other delivery service providers to partner with.