Next Big Thing: Walmart and Uber
The nation's largest retailer continues to beef up its defenses against Amazon.
Walmart is expanding its online grocery delivery pilot via Uber to Orlando and Dallas. The pilot is currently ongoing in Phoenix and Tampa, Fla. (The chain also runs its own grocery delivery service in Denver and San Jose, California.) Walmart announced the expansion just days prior to a scheduled vote by Whole Foods Market's shareholders on its pending acquisition by Amazon.
"We’ve been testing delivery in a number of ways for a while now in key markets across the country," said Mike Turner, VP, eCommerce operations, Walmart, in a blog on the company's website. "In some areas, we’re trying general merchandise deliveries led by associates. In others, we’re testing grocery delivery using Walmart trucks and drivers. We’re working hard to find a way to get you fresh, quality groceries all while keeping a little more time on your calendar.
Under the pilot with Uber, after the customer's order is prepared, an Uber driver comes to the appropriate Walmart store, picks up the order and takes it directly to the customer’s location.
In addition its grocery delivery pilots, Walmart offers customers the ability to pick up online grocery orders at some 900 of its stores.
Bold move for Sears brands
Sears Holdings signed two licensing agreements that the company says will broaden the reach of its Kenmore and DieHard brands internationally.
Cleva North America, Inc. will manufacture Kenmore and Kenmore Elite vacuums and accessories for distribution at retailers worldwide. The agreement applies to vacuum cleaners, stick vacuums, hand vacuums, robotic vacuums, carpet cleaners, bare floor cleaners, sweepers and accessories.
Dorcy International will manufacture DieHard Alkaline batteries and flashlights for distribution in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Caribbean plus Latin America and some locations in the South Pacific. The agreement renews and expands the existing distribution of these DieHard products and applies to: A, AA, AAA, C, D, 6 volt and 9 volt alkaline specialty batteries, as well as flashlights.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“Both of these agreements are examples of our expansion strategy to unleash the power of these iconic brands internationally,” said Tom Park, president of Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands at Sears Holdings. “We will have direct and active involvement in building the business with our licensing partners and we're confident that both Cleva and Dorcy will maintain our high-quality standards.”
In other efforts to expand the reach of the Kenmore brand, Sears recently announced the launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com.