How Walmart plans to 'drive up' traffic

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How Walmart plans to 'drive up' traffic

By Louisa Hallett - 07/25/2018
Walmart plans to drive traffic to its store with an innovative partnership.

Walmart plans to drive traffic to its stores with an innovative new partnership.

Waymo, the Alphabet company that was originally part of Google’s self-driving car initiative, has announced that it will be starting a pilot program with Walmart to bring customers to and from stores. The initiative will begin in Phoenix, where customers will order groceries on, receive savings on their purchases and as their orders are put together at the store, independent Waymo vehicles will take customers to and from Walmart.

“We’ve tailored our partnerships to meet the top rider needs,” Waymo said in a blog post. “While these are Metro Phoenix-specific partnerships today, these businesses are national and what we learn from these programs will give us a network of partners when we launch in new cities down the road.”

This news comes mere hours after Walmart announced that it is teaming up with Postmates, a logistics company that operates a network of couriers who delivers goods locally. The Postmates delivery initiative brings grocery delivery to Los Angeles and outlying areas, including Glendora, Baldwin Park, Garden Grove, Rosemead, Pico Rivera, Foothill Ranch and Santa Clarita, plus San Diego. Walmart announced the end of its previous grocery delivery partnerships with Uber and Lyft in May.

"Think back 10 years ago when shopping online for your groceries seemed like something only the Jetsons did. Today, it's everywhere!" Tom Ward, Walmart's Vice President of Digital Operations, said. "Now, think about self-driving cars. They still seem really far off to me ... but they aren't. They're on roads today, without drivers!"

Waymo is currently in partnership with five major companies, including Avis and Autonation. It has not been released how much Waymo customers will charge pilot riders in Arizona.