BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has acquired Parcel, a last-mile delivery start-up based in New York. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Wal-Mart said the acquisition price “was smaller than previous acquisitions we’ve made this year.”
“Parcel is a proven leader in e-commerce package delivery, including taking fresh, frozen and perishable food the last mile — that is, the last step in the shipping process as products make their way from a fulfillment center to your door,” Nate Faust, senior vice-president for Walmart U.S.’s eCommerce Supply Chain, said in a corporate blog post.
A 24/7 operation, Parcel delivers packages the same day, overnight and in scheduled two-hour windows. The company has developed a technology platform that automates its operations and provides users with live updates throughout the delivery process, Mr. Faust said.
“From a warehouse in Brooklyn, Parcel receives packages destined for customers throughout New York City,” he said. “Using routing algorithms, a fleet of leased trucks, and a professional, employee-based workforce, they’re able to quickly sort and load packages for delivery routes.”
Wal-Mart plans to leverage Parcel for last-mile delivery of general merchandise and fresh and frozen groceries to customers in New York City, the top market for both Jet and Walmart.com. Jet already has been testing free same-day delivery of certain orders to customers there, Mr. Faust said.
“This acquisition allows us to continue testing ways to offer fast delivery while lowering our operating costs,” Mr. Faust said.
Parcel has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies.
“Our immediate plan is for Parcel to continue serving its existing clients and growing its customer base,” Mr. Faust said.
Wal-Mart currently offers grocery pick-up service at hundreds of stores nationwide and is testing same-day delivery at a handful of stores. Recently, the retailer began testing “in-fridge delivery,” a service that stocks a customer’s refrigerator while he or she is away from home.“We’ll continue to explore more ways to give customers the freedom to choose how, when and where they receive their orders from us,” Mr. Faust said.