Walmart Is Rolling Out a New Delivery Method That Will Change How You Shop

The retail giant is piloting a new drone delivery program in North Carolina.

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No-contact shopping has never been more critical than during the coronavirus pandemic. Stores have been trying every way possible to figure out how to safely get products to consumers—and now those attempts are reaching brave new heights. Walmart just announced that it's rolling out a pilot program for the delivery of grocery and household products through automated drones. As the retail giant continues to expand its business, Walmart is planning to start testing its drone delivery program on Sept. 9 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The cloud-controlled drones will be operated by delivery firm Flytrex, which will actually pick up and drop off select items for Walmart.

"We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone. That still feels like a bit of science fiction," Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer products, said in a statement. "But we're at a point where we're learning more and more about the technology that is available and how we can use it to make our customers' lives easier."

drone spinning in air holding a box wrapped up in brown paper
Shutterstock

Few details have emerged about Walmart's drone delivery program, but the company has fast-tracked the expansion of its pick-up and delivery services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more customers opted to have items delivered to their homes. According to CNBC, Walmart saw its online sales double in the second quarter of 2020, with many shoppers choosing to purchase items remotely instead of in stores.

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The footprint of Walmart locations around the country is enormous: 90 percent of all Americans live within 10 miles of a store. So while the drone delivery program is only currently being tested in one market, if successful, a broad rollout could forever change the way we have products delivered to our homes. For more Walmart shopping tips, check out The Incredible Walmart Price Tag Secret You'll Kick Yourself for Not Knowing.

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