Walmart expands FedEx partnership

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Walmart expands FedEx partnership

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 03/20/2018
A discount giant is expanding its partnership with FedEx — a move that could help the company improve the “last mile” of its deliveries.

Walmart is adding FedEx Office shops into 500 locations over the next 24 months. The stores will feature for printing, packing and shipping services.

The program stems from a pilot program the partners launched in 47 Walmart stores across six states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Texas and Colorado. The service enables customers to access to packing, shipping and printing solutions, as well as hold delivered packages at any Walmart-based FedEx Office location for up to five business days — a factor that the company expects to improve the last mile of delivery for its shoppers. (Walmart already partners with FedEx for traditional shipping services.)

The stores will also act as a drop-off point for customer returns, and can process refunds “on the spot.” It will also enable FedEx to ship products back to distributors in bulk, according to CNBC.

The shops will range from 450 sq. ft. and 750 sq. ft., and will be staffed by roughly a total of 2,000 FedEx employees, CNBC reported.

“Our busy customers view our stores as a one-stop-shop for all the products and services they are looking for,” said Daniel Eckert, senior VP, Walmart services and digital acceleration. “We know shipping and printing is one such service they want to access in our stores, so we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with FedEx so that even more of our busy customers can take advantage of their pick up, drop off and printing services.”

Enabling customers to hold their packages at the FedEx shop not only improves the last mile of delivery for Walmart, it will also help quell their concerns around becoming a victim of “porch piracy,” or having their online deliveries stolen from their porch.

The option rivals other efforts from competitors to make it easier for customers to receive their online orders. For example, Amazon recently added its pickup lockers inside of stores across its newly acquired Whole Foods Market stores. Meanwhile, Target recently acquired on-demand delivery company Shipt, to bolster its online delivery options.