Walmart Suppliers Thrown By Fulfillment Changes

Walmart is reportedly trying out a new fulfillment strategy, and some vendors that use to sell goods are not pleased.

Reports in Talk Business & Politics on Friday (Aug. 31) said is testing out a Geo-Gating solution in an effort to streamline fulfillment services. The changes apply to vendors selling consumable goods.

The publication explained that, today, suppliers set up as Drop-Ship Vendors (DSV) keep inventory for goods sold on in their own warehouses. Walmart sends them a packaging slip when items are sold, or those vendors ship an item to a physical Walmart store, with shipping costs covered by Walmart.

The changes mean Walmart would only cover shipping costs for items above $28 under the new Drop-Ship Vendor guidelines. If suppliers no longer fit the criteria of a DSV, they can still sell items on Walmart’s eMarketplace, but will be responsible for both fulfillment and shipping.

While Walmart confirmed the testing to the publication, it did not confirm the $28 price threshold, reports said.

Walmart aims to reduce shipping costs and boost profitability, but some vendors are speaking out against the changes. One supplier in Texas said all items sold at wholesale prices are below $28. Reports said this vendor has had its items removed from Walmart’s online store, and products are no longer searchable, with customers unable to add items to cart.

“There have been no sales for the past couple of weeks, and when the supplier reached out to the buyer, the reason given was ‘an experiment is being conducted for the next six weeks and there is no workaround,’” reports said.

Another supplier of pet products similarly said all items are below the $28 threshold. Vendors could bundle their goods, but that would require new UPC barcodes and new global identification codes.