Wal-Mart is examining a groundbreaking plan to use shoppers in its stores to make deliveries to consumers who have ordered the retailer’s items online. The retailer could potentially offer a discount to entice shoppers to make the deliveries on their way home from stores.

Wal-mart to use its customers to deliver products

Wal-Mart is examining a groundbreaking plan to use shoppers in its stores to make deliveries to consumers who have ordered the retailer’s items online.

Wal-Mart is forecasting online sales of about $9bn (£5.9bn) this year

By Richard Blackden

8:58PM GMT 28 Mar 2013

The world’s biggest retailer is making a big push to drive online sales as more Americans stay connected to the internet throughout the day through phones and tablet devices. A small number of its more than 4,000 stores have begun delivering orders directly to consumers, rather than sourcing the items from warehouses. Using consumers in its stores would take that one step further. “I see a path to where this is crowd sourced,” Joel Anderson, who runs Walmart.com in the US, told Reuters. He said the retailer could potentially offer a discount to entice shoppers to make the deliveries on their way home from stores.

The possibility reflects the spectrum of options being examined by a retailer which is known for vast stores that sell everything from furniture to toiletries.

Wal-Mart is forecasting online sales of about $9bn (£5.9bn) this year, just a fraction of the more than $450bn in worldwide sales the company generated last year. By contrast, Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, reported $61.1bn of revenue last year.

A fellow Wal-Mart executive stressed that any possibility of using shoppers in its stores to make deliveries was at its early stages. “This is at the brain-storming stage, but it is possible in a year or two,” said Jeff McAllister, vice-president of US innovations at the company .

Any plan could potentially face legal obstacles, with drivers potentially requiring personal liability insurance to deliver packages.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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