This collaboration aims to enhance convenience and innovation in last-mile delivery solutions, Walmart said in a Thursday (Aug. 24) press release.
The new offering will be introduced in the coming months and expand the drone delivery capability Walmart has built up over the past two years, according to the press release. The retail giant already has drone delivery operations across seven states and 36 stores that have completed more than 10,000 deliveries. Now, by teaming up with Wing, Walmart plans to reach an additional 60,000 homes.
“Working with Wing directly aligns with our passion for finding innovative and eco-friendly last-mile delivery solutions to get customers the items they want, when they want them,” Prathibha Rajashekhar, senior vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart U.S., said in the release.
The collaboration with Wing aligns with Walmart’s commitment to finding innovative and eco-friendly solutions for last-mile delivery, the release said. Wing’s drones can fly beyond visual line of sight, enabling on-demand delivery for customers within a 6-mile range of the participating Walmart stores.
The two stores that will launch the drone delivery service powered by Wing will join Walmart’s existing network of 11 drone hubs already operating in the Dallas area, per the release.
The drone delivery service will offer customers the opportunity to order various items, including frozen treats, household essentials, last-minute meal solutions and even fragile items, according to the release.
“Wing’s drones are reliable, fast and safe,” Wing Chief Financial Officer Shannon Nash said in a blog post on Wing’s website. “They cruise at 65 mph and use a tether to gently deliver even delicate items — like a carton of eggs — to very precise locations outside customer homes in urban and suburban environments.”
Walmart’s initiative is arguably the most successful drone delivery program to date, PYMNTS reported in April.
Market research firm Insider Intelligence said in January that, industry-wide, companies face technical challenges in implementing drone delivery, but the growth rate of the number of delivery drones in operation is a rapid 55%. “It’s still very much a niche but growing rapidly,” the firm said.