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Walmart reportedly pulls the plug on its associate delivery program

Walmart is re-evaluating the best way to deliver online orders to customers — and how its employees fit into the mix.

The discount giant pulled the plug on its “last mile” associate delivery pilot program, a service that used its own store employees to drop off online orders at customers’ front doors, according to Reuters, which cited internal Walmart documents and interviews with more than two dozen Walmart employees.

According to Reuters, Walmart quietly retreated from its original vision for the pilot program, which launched in New Jersey and Arkansas, and then completely ended the service in January.

The initiative failed to gain traction in New Jersey specifically, due to employees being required to use their own cars and insurance policies during deliveries. Many also had no prior experience as couriers with a delivery service, the report said.

Walmart is now testing a scaled-down service in Woodstock, Ga., In addition to hiring employees dedicated to delivering merchandise to customers, the discounter also is overhauling employee guidelines and limiting deliveries to groceries and related items, such as paper plates, Reuters reported.

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