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Walmart Acquires Parcel, Will Start Same-Day Grocery Delivery

Walmart Acquires Parcel, Will Start Same-Day Grocery Delivery

This move allows the big box store to deliver general merchandise, as well as fresh or frozen groceries, same-day.

Walmart recently acquired Parcel, a technology-based same-day delivery company based in New York City. Parcel specializes in delivering both perishable and non-perishable delivery to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The company uses routing algorithms and a fleet of trucks to quickly sort and load items from their fulfillment center for delivery. Over the last two years, Parcel has successfully delivered over 1 million meals in New York City.

This deal is huge for Walmart and Jet.com, as they’re now both capable of delivering general merchandise and fresh or frozen groceries same-day to those living in New York City.

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Nate Faust, senior vice president, Walmart U.S. eCommerce Supply Chain, said in a blog post, “Delivery is increasingly one of the most important elements for today’s online shoppers, as demands for speed, flexibility, and reliability continue to grow. That’s why my team spends a lot of time thinking about ways we can make deliveries faster and more convenient for customers.”

Walmart has made major strides in their eCommerce strategy over the last few years to compete with other delivery companies like Amazon, Instacart, and Shipt. Walmart offers free two-day shipping to your home, a pickup discount, and free online grocery pickup service in over 1,000 stores. The company also recently announced the birth of Latch, a meal delivery service that allows the delivery driver to enter your home with a one-time code and place your pre-paid grocery items in your refrigerator.

Though Walmart's same-day delivery through Parcel will only be in New York City for the time being, we're betting that delivery to other cities will come very, very soon.


Woolworths is the official food partner for Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food Australia

Sunday 23rd March 2014:Jamie Oliver today announced Woolworths as the fresh food partner for Jamie Oliver&rsquos Ministry of Food centres and kitchens across the country.

For the next year, Australia&rsquos largest supermarket will be providing Jamie&rsquos Ministry of Food centres and mobile kitchens with ingredients for their basic cooking courses and help inspire and educate a new generation of Australians about the joys of preparing food.

The focus of the new partnership aims to encourage Australian communities to get excited and feel passionate about food its origins, health benefits and how cooking fresh food from scratch in the kitchen can be fun.

The announcement was made in Sydney at Kitchen Talk with Jamie, a live cooking demonstration with Jamie&rsquos Ministry of Food Ambassadors and celebrity chefs, Ben O&rsquoDonoghue, Anna Gare and Tobie Puttock. Woolworths celebrated the partnership by providing the fresh ingredients for the live show for 800 people.

Woolworths Managing Director, Tjeerd Jegen said, &ldquoIn October last year we announced that Woolworths and Jamie Oliver would be partnering together to inspire a healthier Australia. This is the next phase of our exciting ongoing partnership with Jamie.

&ldquoWoolies and Jamie share the passionate belief that cooking is a life skill that everyone should learn and that cooking skills are a vital ingredient of being able to eat fresh and live well.

&ldquoWe hope the fresh food supplies that Woolies provides the Ministry of Food centres across the country will help inspire and educate a new generation of Australians about the joys of preparing and enjoying delicious homemade food,&ldquo he said.

Jamie&rsquos fresh food tips and inspirational recipes can be found in all Woolworths stores and online so everyone can create better, healthier, affordable fresh food meals every day of the week.

For further information please contact the Woolworths Press Office on 02 8885 1033.

For 15 years, Jamie Oliver has been inspiring people all over the world to cook and eat better food. His books and TV series are enjoyed by millions across the globe and his charity, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, works tirelessly to raise the profile of food education through its work in communities and schools in the UK, US and Australia. Jamie is dedicated to empowering and educating as many people as possible to learn how to cook and enjoy good food, giving them the chance to have a healthier future.


Walmart grows e-commerce sales 37% with focus on grocery

The retail giant reported Thursday during its first-quarter earnings that U.S. e-commerce sales have grown 37 percent year-over-year. Walmart CFO Brett Biggs said in prepared remarks that “online grocery remains a meaningful contributor to e-commerce growth,” as well as fashion and home. Revenue rose 1% to $123.9 billion.

Walmart’s e-commerce strategy rests on a few key pillars: First, it’s been building out a variety of omnichannel services like grocery pickup and the ability to place an online order with an in-store associate, to get customers who visit its stores to go to its website. Second, it’s been broadening its assortment of premium brands — like Betsey Johnson and Levi’s in Kids apparel, and more smart home products in baby — to get more big-ticket items into the baskets of e-commerce shoppers. Lastly, it’s been building out a robust logistics network so it’s better equipped to roll out faster delivery options — in 2017, Walmart acquired Parcel, a logistics startup that specialized in same-day and last-mile delivery to support its grocery delivery options. And in 2016, it acquired e-commerce marketplace Jet.com, and brought on founder Marc Lore to oversee its U.S. e-commerce operations.

Grocery
Walmart has made grocery the cornerstone of its e-commerce strategy, with the company now on track to enable grocery pickup at 3,100 stores at the end of the year, and grocery delivery at 1,600 stores. It helps Walmart take advantage of its wide store network, and it’s a product that requires often weekly purchases. An April analysis from Cowen and Company found that around 11% to 13% of Walmart shoppers now use its grocery pickup services.

“Digital grocery remains a confusing space for shoppers — Amazon itself has four different ways of getting consumer packaged goods to customers,” Bill Duffy, research director for Gartner L2 said. “Particularly on the website, they make it pretty clear that customers can get grocery pickup for free, and are educating customers on the fulfillment option and how they can get it.”

Home and furniture
Walmart has also been particularly aggressive in diversifying its product assortment online in the home, baby, fashion, and pet categories. Last year, Walmart redesigned the home and furniture sections on its website to give customers the ability to shop by style, as well as by product category, to include more “inspirational” imagery, and to include design types written by in-house staff. One year later, Walmart said that it’s seen a 35% increase in visits to its home category on its website.

In all of these categories, Walmart has been adding to its website more premium brands, private label, and exclusive brands that it’s collaborated on with celebrities. In both pet and kids fashion, Walmart said that it’s added more than 100 new brands over the past year. In baby, it’s added thousands of new items, and also released a redesigned registry experience earlier this year that uses a chatbot to help pre-populate registries with suggested gift items based on what theme soon to-be-parents want for their nursery. And last year, it announced a partnership with Lord & Taylor to start carrying some of its brands on Walmart’s website.

Omnichannel is costly
E-commerce remains an expensive game. CEO Doug McMillon said during an earnings call in January that the company needs “to make more progress to improve profitability,” and that should happen as Walmart is able to attract more repeat visits.

This quarter, Walmart said that it was also able to improve margins in e-commerce (it didn’t say by how much) by building a more favorable merchandising mix.

One of the reasons why Walmart is rolling out next-day delivery is because it will cut down on shipping costs. The items that are eligible for next-day delivery will all be ones that Walmart can ship in a single box from the closest fulfillment center, instead of shipping multiple boxes over a longer period of time.

Sucharita Kodali, retail analyst at Forrester, also noted that Walmart still has some issues in delivering consistency in its omnichannel services — some of the in-store towers where customers can pick up online orders aren’t open 24-7, and sometimes the listed availability of online merchandise can be incorrect.

“They made it easier for customers to pick up [online orders in-store], so they’ve become a viable alternative to Amazon — but they still have a long way to go,” Kodali said.

Amazon meanwhile, is betting that its broader product assortment, and willingness to spend — the company said during its most recent earnings call it it will spend $800 million to enable one-day delivery across all its products — will help it stay ahead of Walmart. When Walmart announced that it was rolling out next-day delivery, Amazon noted in a tweet that “while others are trying to up their fast-shipping game,” it already offered same-day delivery on millions of products.

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Get Ready for Walmart+, the Retailer&rsquos Delivery Subscription Service Designed to Rival Amazon Prime

As the retail apocalypse continues to take down some of our favorite brick-and-mortar stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Pier 1, the remaining retailers must armor up and strategize, thinking not only quickly, but digitally as well. It seems Walmart already has something up its sleeve&mdash a new program that will allow shoppers to get their hands on items more quickly than ever before.

According to Vox Rebound, Walmart has plans to start testing out a membership program called Walmart+, which could roll out as early as this month. Basically, this program will entail unlimited delivery service, including same-day grocery delivery, for a set yearly fee. Now if you're thinking that sounds a lot like Amazon Prime, you're not wrong. This new program would essentially follow Amazon Prime's delivery model, but instead of charging $119 a year, it would only cost $98. While details are still being ironed out (meaning all of this is subject to change), Walmart is also considering implementing a feature that would allow customers to place orders through text.

To give a little background on why Walmart might choose to create such a seemingly similar model to that of Amazon Prime, know this: In 2019, Walmart was ranked the number one retailer in the nation based off revenue, according to Forbes. Following right behind Walmart was, of course, Amazon. While Walmart beat Amazon by a landslide overall, its e-commerce sales were far below those of the online retailer. Amazon accounts for nearly 38 percent of online retail in the United States, while Walmart accounts for just 4.7 percent, according to Vox Rebound. In efforts to compete against Amazon, Walmart might just be taking a tip from its biggest competitor. Wild, right?

Stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on all things Walmart+ as more details roll out. But if this all goes as planned, it will be like having to choose between Netflix or Hulu, as we love both so much, but only want to pay subscription fee!

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[UPDATE] Walmart Is Testing InHome, A Service That Delivers Groceries Straight To Your Fridge

Walmart's InHome delivery service has arrived. The service, first announced in June, is now live in three test cities: Pittsburgh Kansas City, MO and Vero Beach, FL. While you can read a full explanation of the service (and its many safety precautions) below, the one-sentence refresher is that it allows Walmart customers to order groceries that are then delivered straight to their fridge by Walmart employees. What a world.

It's being launched as a membership program for $19.95 a month (groceries not included) customers must also purchase a $49.95 smart lock kit, too, CNBC reports. The kit comes with free installation and a month of unlimited deliveries. It gives delivery people a one-time access code to enter a home during the specified delivery window.

If you don't live in one of the three test cities, fear not: "It&rsquos a service we plan to grow and scale aggressively," Walmart's Senior Vice President of Membership and InHome Bart Stein said in an interview.

ORIGINAL POST: June 8, 2019 at 10:52 a.m.

In an announcement on Friday, June 7, Walmart president and CEO Marc Lore revealed that the retailer will be offering a new service everywhere by Fall 2020: They'll deliver groceries straight to your refrigerator. As in, a Walmart worker will come to your home, open your fridge, and place your just-purchased cartons of milk and bunches of grapes straight in there. The store already offers same day grocery pick-up or delivery, and this, they say, is their logical next step. You probably have a lot of questions, so let's get straight to how this whole thing works.

This new, and quite extra, delivery service is aptly called "InHome." According to some FAQs on the service website's landing page, a test launch will begin this fall in Pittsburgh Kansas City, MO and Vero Beach, FL, with expansion to even more cities in the works. You'll place a grocery order as you normally would and select InHome Delivery and a delivery date when you check out. The delivery people will be trained and vetted Walmart employees who've already worked at a local store for at least one year.

You can choose whether they enter your home through the front door or the garage there will be a smart device that enables one-time access during the delivery window. In a (somewhat creepy) effort to make you feel secure about your home, the delivery employees will be equipped with a wearable camera, so you can watch the entire grocery drop-off from start to finish. (No word on whether or not you can communicate that they're putting your eggs on the wrong shelf while this is happening. )

Now about the cost: The groceries themselves will be priced the same as if you bought them in-store, but there will be a delivery fee. Walmart's remaining mum about it their site states they'll announce more about cost this fall.

This is all, apparently, an effort for Walmart to bring you a sense of Fridgetopia. which is a word they invented meaning "the feeling your refrigerator gets when it&rsquos stocked with everything you need." I mean, surely there are ways to achieve Fridgetopia without a stranger entering your home. Then again, it's 2019. Why would we buck a service that let's us be even lazier than we're already becoming?


Walmart is Launching an Autonomous Grocery Delivery Pilot with Startup Nuro

Major U.S. brick and mortar retailers are exploring new ways to improve their services to compete with online retailers, including offering same-day delivery or having an online orders packed and delivered curbside right to the customer's vehicle.

All of these services are designed to improve the customer experience in the age of Amazon, which led U.S. retailer Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, to experiment with self-driving technology.

The company announced a new pilot with Silicon Valley-based delivery company Nuru to deliver Walmart's online orders using small autonomous delivery vehicles. The pilot is being tested at a Houston, Texas Walmart store.

Walmart said that Nuro's goal of using robotics to improve lives runs mirrors its own mission of helping customers live better. Walmart aims to develop and refine ways to offer the best end-to-end customer experience in what is becoming a highly competitive market.

Now that billions of goods are routinely purchased on Amazon, brick and mortar retailers including Walmart and Target are expanding their offerings to remain competitive. Throughout the entire retail industry, companies are investing billions of dollars in autonomous delivery technology and other tech to make it easier and more convenient for customers to shop.

The multi-purpose autonomous vehicles developed by Nuro are designed to carry a variety of goods, including groceries, parcel packages, or even dry-cleaning. The vehicle have lockable compartments to secure customer orders and they vehicle are capable of driving autonomously at speeds under 25 mph.

Nuro's compact delivery vehicles are fully-electric and autonomous and are engineered to carry cargo instead of passengers.

Nuro was founded in 2016. The company's team includes experts in robotics, AI and autonomous vehicles. Many of Nuro's employees previously worked on autonomous driving projects at top companies such as Google, Apple, Uber and Tesla.

The goal for Walmart is to save customers' time with its expanding Grocery Pickup and Delivery service and learn more about how customers might use the service.

As of 2019, Walmart has grown its online grocery delivery service to over 3,100 pickup locations with deliveries coming from more than 1,600 stores. In order to support its massive push towards online grocery deliveries, Walmart's team includes over 50,000 personal shoppers.

"Our unparalleled size and scale have allowed us to steer grocery delivery to the front doors of millions of families – and design a roadmap for the future of the industry. Along the way, we've been test-driving a number of different options for getting groceries from our stores to our customers' front doors through self-driving technology. We believe this technology is a natural extension of our Grocery Pickup and Delivery service and our goal of making every day a little easier for customers." Walmart released in a statement.

Walmart said that by testing autonomous vehicle capabilities, its better able to understand self-driving technology can be used for its future business offerings.

Earlier this year, Nuro announced a separate partnership with pizza chain Domino's and grocery store chain Kruger to deliver orders using the same autonomous vehicles. The two pilots are also in Houston.

In February 2019, Nuro announced that it has raised $940 million in its latest round of financing from SoftBank's Vision Fund. To date, Nuro has raised more than $1 billion from partners including SoftBank, as well as Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock Partners and China's Gaorong Capital.


Walmart’s quest to compete

Walmart acquired Jet.com in 2016 for $3.3 billion, as the company sought to reach a younger demographic. Since then, the retailer has expanded its digital sales, with an increase of 33 percent last quarter. Additionally, the company has been able to reach shoppers in bigger, wealthier cities -- a market base where Walmart has statistically had a limited presence.

To deliver groceries under this new service, Jet will use Parcel -- a last-mile delivery service that Walmart bought last year at an undisclosed price. Acquiring Parcel allowed Walmart to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Now -- services that offer customers same-day and next-day delivery.

According to Business Insider, the “last-mile” problem -- figuring out how to deliver packages to consumers who don’t have porches or doormen -- is a recurring problem for online retailers -- particularly in cities like New York. However, Parcel’s vans read: “No doorman? No Problem,” a sign to consumers that it’s addressing this issue.

As grocery shopping continues to evolve, consumers are flocking to services that deliver their orders straight to their doors -- and all but instantaneously. This move by Walmart signals an effort to compete in this new arena with fellow retailers like Amazon (which acquired Whole Foods and offers competitive delivery options), InstaCart, MaxDelivery, FreshDirect, and most recently, Target.

Kristen Dalli is a New York native and recent graduate of Marist College. She has worked as a writer and editor for several different companies and publications, including Thought Catalog, The Oddysey, Thomas Greco Publishing, and several travel blogs.

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Dotdash Acquires Simply Recipes and Serious Eats

NEW YORK , Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Dotdash announced its acquisition of leading food and recipe sites Simply Recipes and Serious Eats from Fexy Media. The sites join Dotdash's award-winning family of brands and are now a part of the company's vibrant food and drink portfolio alongside The Spruce Eats and Liquor.com.

Simply Recipes is a top recipe site for families and everyday cooks, with a history as one of the original food blogs, and Serious Eats is a top site for foodies and food-obsessed millennials. Together, they reach more than 16 million people per month (comScore, August 2020 ) and have nearly 30 years of combined expertise inspiring people in all things food and drink. Dotdash is now one of the top three largest food and recipe publishers online.

"We have admired Simply Recipes and Serious Eats for years, and are thrilled to add these extraordinary brands to the Dotdash family," said Neil Vogel , CEO, Dotdash. "Our cooking, food, and drink portfolio now reaches a broad and passionate audience from elite chefs and mixologists to everyday family cooks and new foodies."

"We're excited and honored to steward Simply Recipes and Serious Eats through their next phase of growth," continued Eric Handelsman , GM, The Spruce Eats.

"Dotdash has a proven track record of building and scaling brands with exceptional content. We are thrilled to have our two top media properties join Dotdash to build a powerhouse in the digital food space," said Cliff Sharples , co-CEO of Fexy Media.

Simply Recipes and Serious Eats will continue to utilize Fexy's Relish technology, enabling consumers to save and shop recipes, and Dotdash will deploy Relish across The Spruce Eats.

This is the fifth acquisition for Dotdash since the beginning of 2019. The deal closed September 21, 2020 .

About Dotdash
Dotdash's vibrant brands help over 100 million users each month find answers, solve problems, and get inspired. Dotdash is among the largest and fastest growing publishers online, and has won over 50 awards in the last year alone, including Digiday's 2020 Publisher of the Year. Dotdash brands include Verywell, The Spruce, Investopedia, Byrdie, among others. Dotdash is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IAC).