Walmart GoLocal pushes food delivery further with Local Express

Diving brief:

  • Walmart’s white-label delivery service, GoLocal, continues its foray into the food business by delivering for Local Express, an e-commerce platform focused on food and beverage retailers, the company announced last month.
  • Local Express customers, which include grocery stores, delis, bakeries and butchers, will have access to GoLocal’s same-day and next-day delivery services through the arrangement, according to a press release. The agreement also extends Local Express’ delivery capabilities to businesses in Chicago, Miami and Arlington, Texas.
  • “As consumer demand for delivery continues to be strong, it is especially important for retailers to have a seamless online ordering and delivery experience,” Bagrat Safarian, CEO of Local Express, said in a statement. “Our collaboration with Walmart GoLocal will enable our food and beverage suppliers to offer convenient, low-cost delivery to their customers and stay competitive.”

Overview of the dive:

The addition of Local Express by GoLocal addresses important needs for both parties. For food retailers using the Local Express platform, same-day delivery is an essential service to fulfill on-demand orders and avoid spoilage in transit.

For GoLocal, the added volume will reduce expensive unit costs associated with last-mile delivery. It also connects GoLocal to small businesses, which the service is looking to add more. Local Express is GoLocal’s first customer to focus on specialty food and beverage retailers, such as independent grocery stores, according to the release.

Over 500 stores are integrated with Local Express. The platform hosts a multi-vendor delivery system, which “automatically optimizes delivery times and cost options for regular and rush orders.” according to its website.

Local Express adds to the wave of customers that GoLocal has announced since October 2021, when the service revealed The Home Depot as its first retail customer. Walmart’s local delivery network now serves more than 2,000 outlets nationwide, according to the release.

While it’s unclear how many of these locations are food retailers, Walmart highlighted the sector as key to GoLocal. The service delivers for the Sea Dog Cantina restaurant and bar through Cognetry Labs, bringing products like margaritas on tap directly to consumers, according to a LinkedIn post. GoLocal is a delivery provider on the Cognetry Labs platform.

“Walmart GoLocal has the ability to respond quickly, and time is critical for deliveries. Especially when you’re dealing with food,” said Fred Forsley, founder and owner of Sea Dog Brewing Company, according to the post. Sea Dog Cantina in Clearwater, Florida is a place of Sea Dog Brewery.

Demand for same-day delivery has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s poised to continue growing in the years to come, according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals 2022 Logistics Status Report. The delivery market segment, which includes players like GoLocal, Shipt and DoorDash, is expected to grow from $8.7 billion in 2021 to $15.6 billion by 2025, he said.

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in our Logistics Weekly newsletter. Register here.