Walmart, Alphabet’s Wing team up for drone delivery in Texas

Walmart, Alphabet’s Wing team up for drone delivery in Texas

August 24, 2023

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Dive Brief:

  • Walmart and Wing, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, announced Thursday they are teaming up to offer drone delivery from two stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this year.
  • A Walmart Supercenter in Frisco, Texas, will be the first to tap into the offering. A second Walmart store nearby will launch its service by the end of 2023, Wing CFO Shannon Nash said in a blog post.
  • Wing drones can provide deliveries in under 30 minutes and use a tether to deliver items like household essentials and groceries to customers’ homes.

Dive Insight:

Teaming up with on-demand drone delivery provider Wing will allow Walmart’s growing drone coverage to reach an additional 60,000 homes and spur more delivery activity.

Walmart announced earlier this month it surpassed 10,000 drone deliveries since it began piloting the program in 2020, with 36 stores in seven states now offering the service.

“This is an exciting next step for our customers, as it provides even more access to a convenient, innovative and – most importantly – super speedy way to get the items they need,” Prathibha Rajashekhar, Walmart U.S. SVP of innovation and automation, said in an announcement this week.

To access the service with Wing, customers can download the Wing app and enter their address to see if their home is within the 6-mile drone delivery range from the store.

“If you see a ‘Coming Soon’ message, that means you’re ready to order on Day 1,” Nash said. “Just check back in the coming weeks once we launch the service.”

Wing first launched commercial service in western Frisco in 2021. The expansion adds a section of central and eastern Frisco to its service area, Nash said.

Wing is in the midst of an ambitious plan to create a network that will be able to handle millions of deliveries worldwide by mid-2024. It’s one of several companies looking to scale up and reach more customers — drone delivery provider Zipline aims to run more flights annually than most airlines by 2025.

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