Walmart Partners With Nuro To Test Autonomous Grocery Delivery

On the latest episode of Today In Five:

Walmart has partnered with robotics company, Nuro, to test driverless grocery delivery in Houston. Autonomous grocery delivery is still in its early stages, but as big players like Walmart pilot the new technology, it could see a wider rollout in the coming years.

  • Online pet retailer, Chewy, reported that third quarter sales grew 40% to $1.23 billion from $875.6 million last year. The numbers beat analysts’ estimates, causing shares to rise over 3% in after-market trading. Chewy, which was acquired by PetSmart in 2017, grew its active customer base 33% in the most recent quarter to over 12 million. Pet owners are projected to spend over $75 billion on their animals this year alone according to the American Pet Products Association. Chewy’s CEO said, “We believe that there is significant market opportunity ahead of us.”
  • Stitch Fix also reported good numbers for the latest quarters. The company reported net revenue of $445 million, reflecting 21% year-over-year growth according to a press release. The styling service also reported that its active client base hit 3.4 million, increasing 17% year-over-year. The increase comes after the company rolled out new tech features, including direct-buy options like Shop Your Looks, which is, “hyper-curated and algorithmically personalized to every client”, and Shop New Colors, which lets customers buy previously purchased items in new colors, prints, and sizes.
  • Less than a year after its plans for a second headquarters in New York fell through, retail giant Amazon is reconsidering. According to CNBC, Amazon plans to lease 335,000 thousand square feet of office space in Manhattan. A state representative said the decision was a victory since the expansion didn’t yield the $3 billion performance-based incentives leaders promised Amazon in exchange for 25,000 thousand jobs. The new space will bring a fraction of the jobs Amazon had promised for its second headquarters, housing more than 1,500 employees according to the Wall Street Journal. An Amazon spokesperson said the new office space will open in 2021.

Walmart Tests Driverless Grocery Delivery

According to a press release, Walmart has partnered with robotics company Nuro to debut autonomous grocery delivery in Houston. Over the next few months, Nuro delivery will be made available to Walmart customers who have opted into the service in the Houston area. The program will expand to the general public later in 2020. In a statement from the retailer, they believe that the pilot will give them valuable insight and enable them to develop and refine their service. 

Autonomous grocery delivery is still in its early stages, but as big players like Walmart and Kroger test the new technology, it should see a wider rollout in the coming years. Nuro recently got $940 million in financing and plans to expand to new cities, form new partnerships, and scale its fleet. Kroger launched a driverless test with Nuro earlier this year and Domino’s followed suit. 

Though big players seem on board with the driverless technology, consumers are still unsure, expressing concerns over safety. States and cities are also still working through regulations as the tech becomes more common.