First McDonald’s, Now Walmart Is Teaming Up With Uber

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Walmart announced Monday that it is partnering with Uber to help deliver groceries to people’s front doors.

To use the new feature, customers will have to select items online, input payment details, and choose an optimal time and place for the goods to be delivered. Walmart and Uber will organize the rest.

Within the announcement, in an attempt to sell its latest service, Walmart indirectly asks readers to picture what an average day is like for some:

Your daily grind starts at 6 a.m. with a mad dash around the house as you ready the family for work and school. Showers are taken, cereal is poured, and three different lunches, each one accounting for allergies and pickiness, are lovingly prepared and packed. Meeting after meeting followed by countless conference calls dominate the day. When it’s all over, it’s time to arrange rides for the kids – sports, band practice and drama club are tonight. Anxiety sets in…what in the world are we going to have for dinner? Are there even groceries in the house?

The corporal collaboration isn’t the first for Uber, as the ride-sharing service turned tech conglomerate recently teamed up with McDonald’s. But it seems especially significant for Walmart, which presumably made the move to, of course, further its business interests, but also more specifically keep pace with the rapidly-growing Amazon. (RELATED: Lyft, Taco Bell Come Together To Bring You Late Night Munchies)

Amazon’s goal is to open 2,000 grocery stores within the upcoming decade, and 20 in the next two years, according to Business Insider. It also was granted a patent titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” further showing its seriousness of developing brick-and-mortar locations.

Walmart’s decision to partner with Uber and its established distribution infrastructure is likely a response to the apparent encroachment of Amazon — once a relatively simple e-commerce service — into the grocery and department store industry.

Walmart notified tech companies in June that they aren’t allowed to run apps through Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing subsidiary. Walmart uses tech suppliers’ apps that run on AWS, but has tried to convince them to use another service.

“It shouldn’t be a big surprise,” a Walmart representative told The Wall Street Journal, “that there are cases in which we’d prefer our most sensitive data isn’t sitting on a competitor’s platform.”

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