Walmart acquires Parcel to enable same day delivery in New York

Walmart announced yesterday that it has acquired startup Parcel, a 24-hour delivery service.

Parcel, which delivers groceries and other items from third-party retailers, plans to help Walmart with last-mile delivery, known as the final steps in getting packages to consumers.

"We plan to leverage Parcel for last mile delivery to customers in New York City - including same-day delivery - for both general merchandise as well as fresh and frozen groceries from Walmart and Jet," Walmart said in a blog post about the deal.

Parcel has been delivering perishables to consumers, with clients that include meal-kit delivery businesses, as also retail outlets like Bonobos, a Walmart-owned company.

Parcel launched in 2014 to address a problem faced by New York City residents. Residents without a doorman, could not accept packages when they were not at home and packages often ended up at the post office, which closed in the early evening. Failure to pick up before the post office closed meant the packages get returned to retailers.

CEO Jesse Kaplan's idea was to have shipments delivered to Parcel's warehouse and the startup would then schedule a time for delivery of packages to one's apartment for a small fee.

According to commentators, the acquisition will help the discount retailer, take on Amazon.com shortening the time it took to deliver packages to customers' homes.

They point out that the move comes only weeks after Amazon.com completed its acquisition of Whole Foods, which boasts a large presence in New York City and will likely help Amazon accelerate grocery delivery (See: Amazon to by Whole Foods, sends jitters through US grocery market ). 

Also Walmart, whose e-commerce shot up 63 per cent last quarter, is looking to keep pace with Amazon, whose Prime members can get free two-hour delivery on a limited assortment of goods, as also same-day delivery for free on many items.