Walmart has expanded its drone delivery service to 1.8 million households in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Texas, area, allowing the retail giant to reach up to 75% of the population.
The company said the expansion marks the first time that a U.S. retailer has offered drone delivery to that many households in a single market. Walmart already offers drone service in select markets in the DFW region and in several states.
“This expansion will bring the ultimate convenience of drone delivery to communities across the DFW area,” Prathibha Rajashekhar, Walmart U.S. senior vice president, said in a statement. “Customers will have access to a broad assortment of items from Walmart available for delivery to their home in just minutes.”
Shoppers can receive items in 30 minutes or less with some in as fast as 10 minutes using the drone service, Walmart said.
Experimenting with drone deliveries
Walmart said it has been trialing drone delivery during the last two years and has completed more than 20,000 safe deliveries.
The company is one of several retailers that has been experimenting with the technology in certain cities. These include Amazon, which offers drone service in College Station, Texas, and Lockeford, California. Amazon also plans to expand its Prime Air drone delivery system for packages to a third U.S. city as well as to Italy and the U.K. later this year, but it has not named the specific cities or regions.
In a 2021 pilot test with Drone Express, Kroger experimented with drone delivery of groceries in certain markets. A note at the grocery chain's website says that the pilot program has ended, however.
For its latest expansion, Walmart teamed up with Wing and Zipline, drone delivery companies that are themselves expanding. Last August, Wing launched drone service with Walmart at two locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and partnered with Apian to begin medical drone delivery services to hospitals in Ireland.
Zipline's customers include the Cleveland Clinic, which plans to begin medicine deliveries by drone next year.
How to call a Walmart drone
Thousands of items from baby wipes to birthday candles are available for drone delivery, Walmart said. The delivery radius for stores offering the service will be up to 10 miles.
- Drone Medicine Deliveries To Take Flight at Cleveland Clinic
- Drone Delivery Takes Off for Amazon and Walmart
- Investments In U.S.-Made Drone Technology Are Gaining Strength