walmart

You know the world is kind of upside-down when Walmart is trying to help the mom-and-pop store do business, but apparently that’s what the mega retailer is doing.

Walmart is outsourcing its delivery capabilities, company officials recently announced, and its target customers for this service are “local merchants.” The service, called Walmart GoLocal, is extending its delivery “expertise” to businesses of all sizes, according to a statement from the company.

“In an era where customers have come to expect speed and reliability, it’s more important than ever for businesses to work with a service provider that understands a merchant’s needs,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “Walmart has spent years building and scaling commerce capabilities that support our network of more than 4,700 stores, and we look forward to helping other businesses have access to the same reliable, quality and low-cost services.”

It sounds very altruistic, but it’s a strategic business move—and understandably so. According to officials, Walmart already reaches up to 70 percent of the U.S. population with its delivery and Express delivery capabilities, and is now commercializing that superpower to, in part, diversify its “revenue streams and profit pools,” the company reported.

Walmart’s website promises that it works with businesses “from a wide range of categories,” including small businesses and even nationwide store chains. That said, may it also prove to be a boon to independent pet specialty retailers on the proverbial Main Street?

“Be it delivering goods from a local bakery to auto supplies from a national retailer, we’ve designed Walmart GoLocal to be customizable for merchants of all sizes and categories so they can focus on doing what they do best, leaving delivery speed and efficiency to us,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president in charge of Walmart’s last mile delivery arm.

The launch of the service seems well timed to help retailers maximize holiday season sales potential. Walmart reported that it has already established a number of agreements with national and enterprise retail clients and is currently accepting select new merchant partners at walmart.com/golocal.

We’re curious—if you’re an independent pet specialty retailer, is this a service you might consider if available to you? Visit this story on our Facebook page and let us know what you think.