"Last Mile": Walmart Acquires Parcel

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The deal comes as Walmart's been looking to streamline its shipping operation to compete with Amazon's hyper-convenient service.

Notably, Parcel's acquisition will likely not only reduce the delivery timing significantly but also reduce last-mile shipping costs. Through that company's technology and carrier network, Target has been testing same-day deliveries in the city's TriBeCa neighborhood. Parcel will continue to deliver for its existing customers, but it will become the so-called last-mile courier for Walmart.com and Jet.com, the e-commerce company Walmart bought previous year.

Walmart is working to become a major player in urban areas like New York City, calling the Big Apple the company's top market, and rapid delivery is an important piece of that plan.

Parcel fits into Walmart's recent string of acquisitions around e-commerce.

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What's more, same-day delivery is a way for Walmart to get more business from New York City customers, a market of 8.5 million people that doesn't have a single Walmart location. Parcel has been handling deliveries for companies like Chef'd and Martha & Marley Spoon and Walmart says it will continue to work with its existing clients.

So far, Walmart has expanded its e-commerce offerings into those traditional left-leaning cities without much of a fight. Parcel is a last-mile delivery company that WMT recently acquired. The purchase of Parcel, a Brooklyn-based specialist in same day, overnight and scheduled deliveries of perishable and non-perishable items, adds to Wal-Mart's push into e-commerce following the $3.3 billion purchase of Jet.com in 2016 and other smaller acquisitions. Last month, Walmart revealed plans for a pilot grocery-delivery program where drivers put customers' perishable food directly into their refrigerators. The startup has also compiled a database of every New York City building it has delivered to, including photos and detailed information on service entrances.

Nate Faust, senior vice president of Walmart's USA e-commerce supply chain, says Parcel will help Walmart meet customers' growing desire for same-day deliveries.

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