Retail Dive: Walmart Debuts Drone Delivery in Arizona, Florida, and Texas

Dec 21, 2022

(Image Source: USA Today)

On Thursday, Walmart and DroneUp announced that its drone delivery service is now operational in the states of Arizona, Florida, and Texas, with plans to roll out the service to a total of six states by the end of the year. The expansion into three additional states is part of Walmart's larger strategy to establish a drone delivery infrastructure capable of handling one million deliveries annually.

The store plans to increase the reach of its DroneUp network to 4 million homes in six states throughout the United States. This includes not just the states engaged in the announcement on Thursday, but also Arkansas, Utah, and Virginia.

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DroneUp has already established three delivery hubs in Walmart locations in Northwest Arkansas. Not much was said about the present state of drone delivery in Utah and Virginia in the press release. According to a press release, "Drones can deliver more than 10,000 qualified Walmart products up to ten pounds, including fragile items like eggs, in as little as 30 minutes." In another press release from last Thursday, they also mentioned that drone delivery will be offered at 34 stores in 23 locations before the end of the year.

Vik Gopalakrishnan, vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart US, said in a statement, "Drone delivery makes it feasible for our consumers to easily purchase last-minute or forgotten things in a package that is, well, incredibly awesome."

Delivery drones are being developed by businesses as an alternative to using trucks to transport simple cargo. Regulation constraints and technological restrictions have made drones challenging to scale for even the most well-funded firms, like Amazon. To overcome these obstacles, Walmart has made a strategic investment in DroneUp. Walmart's physical presence of more than 4,700 US shops will allow it to reach a substantial section of the population within the drone's range, according to the two firms.

Source: Walmart drone delivery service launches in Arizona, Florida and Texas

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