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Walmart goes live with drone delivery in three states

Walmart is expanding drone-based last-mile delivery beyond its initial launch in Arkansas.
Walmart DroneUp delivery
Walmart is moving ahead with drone deliveries.

Walmart is expanding drone-based last-mile delivery beyond its initial launch in Arkansas.

The discount giant is moving forward with previously announced plans to provide automated delivery with drone operator DroneUp to 34 sites across the U.S. Following initial launch of its DroneUp partnership with drone-based deliveries from three stores in Northwest Arkansas in late 2021, Walmart is now providing the service in Arizona, Florida and Texas.

The expanded service provides deliveries from four Walmart supercenter stores in Arizona – two in Glendale and two in Peoria; as well as seven supercenter stores in Florida – two in Clermont and one each in Brandon, Port Richey, Tampa, Valrico, and Winter Haven; and 11 stores in Texas. These include a supercenter store in The Colony, two neighborhood market stores in Dallas; a neighborhood market and two supercenters in Garland, a neighborhood market in Mesquite, a supercenter in Murphy, neighborhood markets in Plano and Richardson, and a supercenter in Rowlett.

In partnership with DroneUp, Walmart also plans to offer drone delivery in Utah and Virginia by the end of 2022. In total, there are expected to be 34 stores making drone delivery available in 23 cities nationwide by year end.

How it works

Customers living within a mile of a participating store can place orders through between the hours of 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. local time. Drones can deliver more than 10,000 eligible Walmart items up to 10 pounds, including fragile items like eggs, in as little as 30 minutes.

There are no order minimums and the delivery fee is $3.99. Once the items are packaged and loaded into the drone, the order is then delivered using a cable that gently lowers the package into the customer’s yard. Walmat made an unspecified investment in DroneUp in June 2021.

Walmart drone delivery – a brief history

Walmart is continuing to increase the number of drone delivery pilots and programs it launches. The retailer launched a drone-based instant delivery service at a Neighborhood Market store in Pea Ridge, Ark, in partnership with carbon-free drone provider Zipline in fall 2021.

In January 2021, Walmart teamed up with Coca-Cola to promote the nationwide rollout of the Coca-Cola with Coffee and debut of the new Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar beverages, by making drone-based delivery of the products available to select consumers in Coffee County, Ga., utilizing DroneUp services.

In September 2020, the retailer partnered with Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp to pilot drone delivery of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits, and also kicked off a pilot with end-to-end drone delivery company Flytrex to deliver select grocery and household essentials from its stores using automated drones. 

In a recent survey from route optimization software provider Circuit, Walmart was named the most trusted company for automated and drone-based food deliveries, and second-most trusted overall provider of automated and drone-based deliveries, behind Amazon.

“Drone delivery makes it possible for our customers to shop those last-minute or forgotten items with ease, in a package that’s frankly really cool. Being on the forefront of that innovation at Walmart is something we’re proud of,” said Vik Gopalakrishnan, vice president, innovation & automation, Walmart U.S. “It may seem like a futuristic option, but it’s giving our customers what they’ve always wanted, and that’s time back to focus on what is most important to them.”





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