CHICAGO -- Whether in-house or through delivery partners, some of America’s biggest brands are getting products to consumers in creative ways.
This winter has already seen plenty of delivery innovation, from the launch of Kroger and Nuro’s unmanned delivery service to Stop & Shop’s partnership with Robomart. The following stories build further on this trend.
Click through for more on delivery from four companies …
1. Amazon, meet Scout
Scout from Seattle-based Amazon might look like similar to the terrestrial drones from Starship Technologies, but they are made in-house.
Six of the bots are already trundling the sidewalks of Snohomish County near Seattle. The rolling coolers drive themselves, but they are making deliveries only during daylight hours and accompanied by an Amazon employee for now.
Scout does not change the ordering process for customers in Snohomish County. They have the same ordering options they always have. But now, there is a chance their package will be delivered via sidewalk drone instead of a human.
2. Walmart, meet everyone else
Walmart recently partnered with four new delivery companies: Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire and Roadie. Walmart offers delivery from 800 locations and is aiming to offer it from 800 more in 2019.
The new delivery service providers change nothing for consumers, but the move reveals the importance of delivery for the Bentonville, Ark.-based business as it looks to the future.
3. Kroger's rolling store
Cincinnati-based Kroger is partnering with the Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville, Ky., to launch a mobile grocery store.
The mobile store’s route and timeline are still being discussed, but a food bank and Kroger subsidiary in Milwaukee have already launched a mobile grocery store. The converted semitrailer was turned into a single-aisle store and has been driven to low-income residents in Milwaukee since 2015.
4. Starbucks expands delivery
After an initial test in Miami, the Seattle-based coffee company is expanding its delivery service to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks.
The delivery service is managed through a partnership with Uber Eats, and Starbucks plans to launch the service in 25% of company-operated stores. Delivery has been available in 2,000 Chinese stores since the end of 2018, and the company is launching another delivery test in London.