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Walmart to test grocery delivery through Uber

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New York - Walmart will begin testing the delivery of groceries using Uber and Lyft drivers, aiming to match the convenience of services offered by Amazon.com and other e-commerce companies.

The retailer will start trying out Uber in Phoenix and Lyft in Denver within the next two weeks, Walmart’s chief operating officer of e-commerce, Michael Bender, said in a statement. The company previously began a pilot program in March using Deliv to deliver Sam’s Club groceries and other merchandise in Miami.

The move steps up competition with Amazon’s burgeoning grocery-delivery service and provides a potential new avenue of growth for Uber and Lyft. The idea is to let Walmart customers pick out groceries online and then have employees fill the order and give it to one of the ride-hailing companies’ drivers. Shoppers will pay a $7-to-$10 delivery charge to Walmart to have the groceries brought to their door.

Walmart previously began offering home delivery in Denver and San Jose, California. It also encourages customers to place orders online and pick up the goods at stores - a bid to capitalise on its thousands of US locations.

“We’ll start small and let our customers guide us, but testing new things like last-mile delivery allow us to better evaluate the various ways we can best serve our customers how, when and where they need us,” Bender said in the post.

Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, made the announcement ahead of its annual meeting on Friday.

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