Sign in to follow this  
BladeOfWraith

Wal-Mart's new plan: Have customers deliver online orders

Recommended Posts

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is considering a radical plan to have store customers deliver packages to online buyers, a new twist on speedier delivery services that the company hopes will enable it to better compete with Amazon.com Inc.

Tapping customers to deliver goods would put the world's largest retailer squarely in middle of a new phenomenon sometimes known as "crowd-sourcing," or the "sharing economy."

A plethora of start-ups now help people make money by renting out a spare room, a car, or even a cocktail dress, and Wal-Mart would in effect be inviting people to rent out space in their vehicle and their willingness to deliver packages to others.

Such an effort would, however, face numerous legal, regulatory and privacy obstacles, and Wal-Mart executives said it was at an early planning stage.

Wal-Mart is making a big push to ship online orders directly from stores, hoping to cut transportation costs and gain an edge over Amazon and other online retailers, which have no physical store locations. Wal-Mart does this at 25 stores currently, but plans to double that to 50 this year and could expand the program to hundreds of stores in the future.

Wal-Mart currently uses carriers like FedEx Corp for delivery from stores - or, in the case of a same-day delivery service called Walmart To Go that is being tested in five metro areas, its own delivery trucks.


"I see a path to where this is crowd-sourced," Joel Anderson, chief executive of Walmart.com in the United States, said in a recent interview with Reuters.

 

Full article

I suspect this is a job's program for trial lawyers. This whole thing reads like a law school fact pattern on tort liability for respondeat superior.

 

List three ways Wal-Mart could be sued for this plan.

I'll start.

1. Car accident on way to deliver goods

2. Delivery person is shot by home owner mistaking them for a trespasser

3. Burglars use service to case targets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

List three ways Wal-Mart could be sued for this plan.
I'll start.
1. Car accident on way to deliver goods
2. Delivery person is shot by home owner mistaking them for a trespasser
3. Burglars use service to case targets

<insert i_dont_want_to_live_on_this_planet_any_more.jpeg>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walmart competing with UPS, leveraging regular customers? Sounds not so crazy anymore. If they get the legal mumbo jumbo right... why not.I doubt it however, seeing as walmart seems to have a track record of ignoring basic workers rights and whatnot. I'll stay tuned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a new concept at all... <a href="https://www.hermesworld.com/en/">Hermes</a>. Very cheap to use, but from what I gather their couriers make around 30-60p per parcel, but that's their only income, they must pay their own costs etc. My experience with them is quite good (you tend to always have the same courier work in your area), but I know many other people have had abysmal experience with parcels getting lost etc...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

List three ways Wal-Mart could be sued for this plan.
I'll start.
1. Car accident on way to deliver goods
2. Delivery person is shot by home owner mistaking them for a trespasser
3. Burglars use service to case targets

tumblr_m7oq5k17pY1r3084q.jpg

FTFY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a new concept at all... Hermes.

Not even close. They hire you as an employee. They aren't handing off a few things to tens of thousands of new people every day. More importantly, are they even in America? The website just mentions Europe. I have no idea what laws other countries have in this respect, but I have a decent grasp of US law.

 

Consider:

Wal-mart gives me some perishable food to bring to Mary. It's summertime and I leave it in my trunk for a while, as I run other errands. Four hours after I was given the food, I swing by Mary's and drop it off. Mary eats the food and gets food poisoning. Because of the American definition of respondeat superior, Wal-mart is accountable for her food poisoning.

 

When you have a limited number of employees, you can train them to make things like this uncommon. How do you do that with a sea of random customers? The answer is, you can't.

 

You can also run background checks on your employees. Not so much with random customers. What happens when Wal-mart hands off some groceries to a convicted sex offender, that proceeds to rape someone or kidnap a child? This sort of thing is inevitable with an operation of this scale.

 

This is an absolutely crazy plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this